- Foster signed for Burnley on Wednesday
- He becomes the latest South African to play in England
- Palacios believes Foster will score a lot of goals at Burnley
WHAT HAPPENED? On Wednesday, the Clarets announced Foster as their new player from Belgian outfit KVC Westerlo on a four-and-a-half-year contract. The move came after considerable speculation.
Burnley are gunning for promotion from the Championship into the Premier League and Foster arrives at Turf Moor at a demanding time. Expectations are high on him to help Vincent Kompany’s side earn promotion back into the Premier League.
However, Palacios is confident the Bafana Bafana star will handle the pressure. The former Buccaneers coach was involved in the development of Foster at Orlando Pirates. Having previously worked closely with the Foster, Palacios has “no doubt” the 22-year-old will make it in English football.
WHAT PALACIOS SAID: “I am very proud of Lyle. I spoke to him before he did his medical yesterday...the boy was so happy,” Palacios told Sowetan Live.
“I told him to go there and be an ambassador of SA. It's so fulfilling to see a person you helped at some point doing well in life. Lyle has a big heart and his talent is unquestionable, so I have no doubts he will score goals.
“Lyle's parents were living in Florida [on the West Rand] but they always drove the boy to training and picked him up...remember we were training in Mayfair. They sort of stopped their lives to see this boy developing in football.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: With Burnley likely to return to the Premier League, attention would be on Foster to stay in the top flight longer. This comes after Percy Tau, the last South African to play in that league, could not stay long at Brighton and Hove Albion.
Previous players like Benni McCarthy, Lucas Radebe, Shaun Bartlett and Quinton Fortune made their names in the Premier League but the recent crop of South Africans have been struggling.
Foster arrives in England carrying hopes of establishing himself into a big player. He would also be keen to banish the trend of some South African players returning home after finding it hard in Europe.
STORY IN TWO PICTURES:Backpagepix.Westerlo
WHAT NEXT FOR FOSTER? The Bafana man could make his Burnley debut this weekend in the FA Cup against Ipswich Town.