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​Ex-Chelsea youngster Ali happy in Saudi Arabia

Former Chelsea youngster Mukhtar Ali says that he is happy in Saudi Arabia.

The former Blues youth player has made his way to the Arab nation to resurrect his career after failing to make it in England.

He now plays for Al Nassr as a regular starter, and the star is happy about how he is progressing.

"If I stayed at Chelsea with the Under-23s, I thought I wouldn't develop as quickly," he explained to Goal.com.

"I didn't think I was ready for the first team, so I had to go down a different route.

"Saudi Arabia got in contact with me the year we won the Youth Cup. I was born there, so it was a natural decision to play for them, one made with my parents and my agent.

"At Vitesse, I wasn't playing. I looked at my options and thought about my international career. The best option was to move to Saudi Arabia.

"Al Nassr got in contact and they were talking with Vitesse for some time. I don't know why, but it got left until transfer deadline day.

"I was at Vitesse that day for hours and it only got finished with four minutes left of the window. But I was very happy.

"A lot of people might think I moved to Saudi Arabia for the money but that definitely wasn't the reason.

"Al Nassr on the league last year and it is a big club. As a young player at Chelsea, I always challenged for trophies. I have that will to win and Al Nassr have the same mentality.

"It is a good league, too. It's tough and there are a lot of players from Europe here. We have very good team and playing here can only help my international career. All the players who play for Saudi Arabia are here, so it makes sense for me to be here too.

"I've been doing well with the Under-23s and it will be amazing to be in Tokyo. It is a shame that it has been delayed, but it will be amazing when we get there to play against top players.

"So, I feel like I have achieved a lot already in this short time in Saudi Arabia. I definitely don't want to stop here."

About the author

Ansser Sadiq

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