Bafana Bafana star on a verge to EFL Championship

Lyle Foster is in close proximity into pursuing the English Premier League, and the price for his services could rise to R186 million with one stipulation. For weeks, Lyle Foster of the Bafana Bafana has been the target of Burnley manager Vincent Kompany’s pursuit. The Clarets appear to have finally captured their target. Burnley is presently leading the EFL Championship by five points and seems to be a strong candidate to be promoted to the top division.

Burnley, who is currently leading the championship reportedly agreed to pay €7 million for Bafana Bafana striker Lyle Foster, setting a new transfer record for South Africa. With eight goals in 21 games for Westerlo this season, Foster, 22, has delighted Burnley coach Vincent Kompany. According to Belgian writer Sacha Tavolieri, the former Manchester City defender had been very eager to add Foster to his roster before the January transfer window closed. Both parties have agreed to a contract worth R130 million ($7 million), with the possibility of an increase to R186 million ($10 million) should the Clarets be promoted to the Premier League.

Benni McCarthy’s €6 million transfer from Ajax Amsterdam to Celta Vigo set the previous South African transfer record, thus even the initial €7 million would be more (R111 million)With 62 points, they are now ahead of Watford in the race for the top non-automatic promotion position by 18 points. Kompany has had a successful season thus far after taking over at Turfmoor at the beginning of the year.Foster faced the Manchester City great in a league game only two years ago when he played for Anderlecht in the Belgian top division during his final season of professional football. At the time, Foster was under contract to AS Monaco and on loan at Cercle Brugge.

The Bafana international impressed during Westerlo’s promotion campaign last season while initially on loan, and has recently finalized a permanent move there.Foster has established himself as one of the top players in the Pro League during this season, his debut in Belgium’s top division, scoring eight goals and recording three assists in 14 games between August and November 2022.Foster should also be able to obtain a work permit in England given that he has been a consistent performer for Westerlo in the Belgian Pro League despite Bafana not being among the top 50 FIFA ranked nations.

Burnley may need the addition of Foster up top to win the Championship championship, but given that they currently have the best goal scorers in the league, they are hardly in need of another scoring danger. Burnley’s interest in Foster is obvious given how well-adjusted he has been to life in the Belgian top division thus far this season. Time is quickly running out for Kompany to finalize a contract because Championship clubs have until Tuesday, January 31 to conclude their business. Expect activity in the coming days as the former Manchester City boss likely decides if Foster impressed him enough in person to warrant a more aggressive approach for the striker.

Foster’s fee will reportedly cost 10 million euros with add-ons.Kompany also didn’t rule out a move for Foster during one of his press conferences this week. “From our side there is no rush, it was an opportunity to see players. To be honest he wasn’t the only player on that pitch although I understand he is the one being talked about now but there is a few more,” Kompany was quoted by LancsLIVE.For us, there is this season and there is next season whether we are in the Premier League or the Championship and we need to plan ahead.”I have been to see other games where I got away with it but not this one.In general it is a good way to get a good look at players. It is always valuable but it doesn’t mean as much as that, we will see.”

Foster Breakthrough season

Lyle Foster moved to Europe as he joined French Ligue 1 powerhouse AS Monaco from Orlando Pirates midway through the 2018–19 season. Lyle Foster is coming off his best season in Europe. The Bafana Bafana international was signed by Belgian team Westerlo in July 2021 after disappointing stints with Monaco, Portuguese club Vitoria Guimaraes, and Cercle Brugge of Belgium. He had finally found a place where he could blossom as a fixture in the team’s starting lineup.

As Westerlo competed for promotion to the Belgian First Division A against teams like RWDM and Waasland-Beveren, the former South Africa under-20 international, who was on loan from Guimaraes, emerged as one of the team’s important players. Westerlo won the First Division B championship and received a straight promotion to Belgian football’s top division. Foster also contributed to the success of the De Kemphanen (known as the Brawlers in Dutch), who advanced to the Round of 16 of the Belgian Cup.

The soccer star’s performance during the previous season

Foster scored his first goal for Westerlo after coming off the bench as a substitute against Antwerp in the Belgian Cup match in October of last year. Foster was primarily utilized as an impact player in the early stages of the season, coming off the bench as a replacement. With Foster scoring his team’s second goal, the Brawlers shocked the league by defeating Antwerp 2-1. The Pirates academy graduate under head coach Jonas de Roeck started playing regularly after that.

The Johannesburg-born striker later collected scored netted two goals and an assist to lead De Roeck’s team to a 5-1 victory over Lierse in a league match in November of last year. He then scored and provided an assist in the Brawlers’ penultimate game of 2021, a 4-3 victory over Excel Mouscron after the team had been eliminated by OH Leuven from the Belgian Cup. Foster went through a five-match goal drought at the beginning of 2022 before he scored the first goal in Westerlo’s 2-1 victory over Beveren in February of this year, which was a part of a league-best three-match winning streak. This turned out to be his final goal of the year, but he did contribute an assist when the Brawlers lost 2-1 to Lommel in April this year.

Westerlo eventually won the First Division B championship, ending the campaign six points ahead of RWDM, who finished in second place. Throughout the entire season, Foster played 26 games in all competitions and contributed five goals and four assists. The lanky athlete lost out on winning the First Division B Player of the Year award in 2021–2022. Foster then played for South Africa against Morocco in the 2023 Afcon, which they lost 2-1. Foster scored Bafana’s consolation goal on June 9, marking his first goal for the senior national team.

Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge

Foster’s career was thriving at such a young age. At the Soccer Challenge when he was 16 years old, he represented Schools United FC. He gained national attention in the ABSA Premiership after Orlando Pirates noticed him. He contributed to the national Under 20 team’s COSAFA tournament victory in 2017. After leaving the sea robbers he signed with AS Monaco in the french 1 league, a club led by one of the best attackers in history, Frenchman Thierry Henry. Foster claims that effort is rewarded. Professional athletes from the competition include Lyle Foster, the former Kaizer Chiefs captain, Siphiwe Tshabalala, the former Free State Stars, and Bafana Bafana. Edward Mngele, a striker, and Thulani Serero, a former midfielder for both Bafana Bafana and Ajax Amsterdam.

The annual Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge is held in the Nike Training Center in Soweto, Johannesburg. The competition was first held there in 2002. The competition supports Discovery’s fundamental goals of promoting a healthy and active lifestyle and has successfully provided a stage for upcoming South African soccer stars. In addition to uniting communities in a soccer festival where everyone is encouraged to participate in sports to lead healthier, more active lives, the Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge is crucial to the growth of soccer in South Africa.

The Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge has produced some of the best coaches who are currently making their impact in South African football’s mainstream, in addition to discovering players. The Walter Sisulu Challenge also produced the head coach of Mamelodi Sundowns, Rulani Mokwena, the coach of the South African Women’s Under 17 team, Simphiwe Dludlu, a former player for Banyana Banyana, and the assistant coach of Sekhukhune United, Thabo Senong. Senong maintains that nurturing talent is essential.

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