Interest fee

Bafana star completes move to Belgium over ‘record transfer fee’

Foster, who came through the South African youth ranks before becoming part of Bafana’s senior setup from 2019, is set to extend his stay with Westerlo after it was confirmed his loan deal will become permanent.

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On August 13, 2020, Foster became Vitória de Guimarães’ newest member, while last year he joined Westerlo on a one-season loan until June 30, 2022.

The 21-year-old featured for Pirates between 2017 and 2019 and was once on the English newspaper list The gardians top 60 of the most promising young players in the world.

His permanent transfer to new Belgian second division champions Westerlo would be around R17 million, while also being entitled to a percentage of any future sales commission.

“Vitória Sport Clube Futebol, SAD informs that it has reached an agreement with KVC Westerlo, from Belgium, for the transfer of player Lyle Foster, for an amount of €1,000,000, with Vitória retaining 15% of the capital gain of a future sale,” read the statement from the Portuguese outfit.

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It has now been confirmed to SABC Sport that the deal is a four-year deal for a record fee.

“I am delighted for Lyle that he was finally able to put pen to paper on a new permanent contract at Westerlo. Lyle enjoyed his loan spell at the club and when the team were promoted to the Belgian top flight, the club made it clear that he wanted Lyle to stay with them on a permanent deal, which finally came to fruition after lengthy negotiations between the respective parties,” said his agent, Glyn Binkin of Football First, SABC Sports.

“Lyle enjoyed a successful loan spell at the club and felt at home at Westerlo, so despite interest from a number of other top Belgian clubs, when Westerlo made his intention to stay at the club permanently he immediately told us that Westerlo would be his number one priority so we are delighted and thank the chairman and management for what is a record transfer for the club and Lyle has now signed a contract 4 years from July 1, 2022.

Foster has scored five goals and provided four assists in 26 appearances in all competitions for Westerlo this season.

The youngster was part of the Bafana squad which played friendly matches against Guinea earlier this year

Foster recently said he thinks it would be very beneficial for the Bafana Bafana if there were more players who challenged each other in overseas competitions.

“I really hope they feel like playing in Europe because the gap is so huge between our league and the European leagues,” Foster said.

“Competitiveness and how they are managed in terms of professionalism is different. I hope we can export more players, and I think it will strengthen the national team when we go to higher level tournaments and qualifications.

“We will have the experience of playing people from different countries and different internationals rather than always playing in PSL against each other for five years.

“Playing in Europe makes your skin tougher and you are more prepared for the challenges you are going to face.”