Lyle Foster: Introducing the new AS Monaco attacker

Following Foster's eagerly anticipated move, Goal offers some background on who the 18-year-old South African sensation is


Orlando Pirates recently confirmed the departure of starlet Lyle Foster, who realised his dream of playing abroad as he joined AS Monaco on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Foster becomes the latest South African to move to one of Europe’s’ top leagues, but his move to the French Ligue 1 giants is arguably one of the most high-profile transfers in recent times.

However, while this is a big move for the youngster who turned 18 in September of 2018, not a lot is known about him, particularly beyond the borders of South Africa.

Foster, a versatile attacker, who plays best behind a No.9 or even as a ‘false nine’, hails from Johannesburg, where he was discovered by highly acclaimed former Orlando Pirates head coach Augusto Palacios when he was just 12-years-old.

Lyle Foster, PS

The teenager has not looked back ever since as he gained his experience in Pirates’ academy ranks before graduating to the first team in 2017, making his debut in a Premier Soccer League (PSL) clash against Maritzburg United at the age of 17 years. This made Foster the youngest player to debut for the club, a feat which has since been surpassed by another promising talent in Augustine Mahlonoko.

Despite Foster’s rise, first-team football became hard to come by as he played just 11 games for the Soweto giants. This though did not deter the youngster’s ambition as he still managed to impress during his trial with Monaco where he eventually earned his move.

Meanwhile, success with Pirates may have been minimal, but it has been on the international front where Foster has been stealing the show and making a name for himself.

Foster is a fully fledged junior international who has represented South Africa at under 17 and under 20 levels. His most notable achievement to date came recently as he played an important role on South Africa’s path to glory, sharing the golden boot award at the Cosafa u20 tournament. 

Lyle Foster & Lebo Mkhuma, South Africa

Aside from his junior tournament exploits, Foster has featured on three occasions for the senior team in the senior version of the regional Cosafa Cup, allotting just 23 minutes.

Foster is certainly one of the brightest prospects to come out of South Africa, and at a time where there is a steady rise in South African youngsters plying their trade abroad, it is a move in the right direction.

Working under some of Europe’s best coaches will only benefit Foster, and although he is yet to hit the heights expected of him at the highest level, he has shown that he is a player that is willing to put in the effort.

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With potential that knows no bounds, he could soon see himself as one of not only one of South Africa’s premier strikers but the continent’s as well.