CAPE TOWN – Orlando Pirates' teenage striker Lyle Foster has signed for French top-flight club AS Monaco until 2023.
Monaco, who are coached by former Arsenal great and French World Cup winner Thierry Henry, confirmed the news on their website late on Wednesday afternoon.
"AS Monaco is pleased to announce the arrival of Lyle Foster from Orlando Pirates (South Africa). Born on September 3, 2000, in Soweto, the 18-year-old South African striker signs until June 2023. He first joins National 2, coached by David Bechkoura."
Foster may be starting out in the Monaco reserve side, but having signed for a four-and-a-half year deal, it's clear the club have big plans for him.
The young marksman, who had a couple of trial and assessment stints with Monaco during 2018, holds the record for being the youngest Pirates player (at 17 years, four months and 16 days) to score an official goal after he found the net in a 1-1 draw against Polokwane City in January 3018.
He was to make one start and eight substitute appearances in the league last term, scoring the one goal, but has not featured for the Buccaneers in the 2018/ 19 campaign.
Foster had been with Pirates since his formative development years, and the club's Head of Youth Development Augusto Palacios was thrilled to see the rapid progress his protege has made.
"It is such an honour to see Lyle moving to a big club at such a young age. As a person who is passionate about youth development, this is the type of thing that makes the long hours all worth it," Palacios told the Pirates website.
"Lyle came into my hands as a baby at 13 years old, now here he is on the verge of making the biggest move of his career. I would like to wish him the best of luck and also thank the Foster family for their active involvement in their child's development.
"Let this move pave a way for more such transfers in the future...let this be an eye opener of what is possible if you make use of the opportunity when it presents itself."
Monaco, for whom Colombian marksman Radamel Falcao is the top scorer with seven league goals, have struggled this season and are currently second from bottom in Ligue 1, four points adrift of safety.
The eight-time league champions, who last won the title in 2016/17, are being linked with players such as Cesc Fabregas, Laurent Koscielny and Mamadou Sakho in the January transfer window.
African News Agency (ANA)