Luther Singh happy with his progress in Portugal
Luther Singh believes his game can only go from strength to strength now that the South Africa Under-23 international is earning a lot of game time in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.
There were concerns‚ six months ago‚ that Singh’s career had stalled as a first-team breakthrough at Sporting Braga continued to elude the 21-year-old striking prospect.
Singh burst onto the scene at 18 with a hat trick for Amajita in a 3-1 win against Cameroon in the Amajita’s opening game of the 2017 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Zambia‚ ending joint-top scorer with four goals as SA finished third and qualified for the U-20 World Cup.
Singh took a six-month loan in January from Braga‚ where he had only managed to turn out for the reserve Braga B side‚ to Chaves.
The north Portuguese club are fighting relegation in second-last place in the Primeira Liga‚ but Singh has made a top-flight breakthrough playing 14 out of 15 games‚ starting in 13 of those‚ which has revived the youngster’s upward trajectory.
“You know‚ I always speak to my mentor‚ [Stars of Africa academy owner] Farouk Khan. And I spoke to him about this‚” Singh said of his loan from Braga to a smaller club in Chaves.
“I know some people might have thought it was not a good decision to make. But I have age on my side. And going there‚ I was 100 percent sure I would play almost all the games.
“When I went there‚ everyone I knew in Portugal was speaking about me‚ because I’m playing well in my team.
“It’s not like the team are in the second division – they’re in the top division‚ but just a smaller club.
“It’s a loan‚ and who knows after the six months what can happen.”
Singh provided three assists as the U-23s beat Angola 3-1 away‚ then starred again and scored in the 3-0 home leg win at Bidvest Stadium‚ in the South Africans’ convincing start to the 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations qualifiers last month.
The forward‚ who disappointed in a call-up to a Bafana Bafana developmental side at last year’s Cosafa Cup in Polokwane‚ when he was struggling for game time in Portugal‚ displayed far greater sharpness for David Notoane’s U-23s against Angola.
“The experience I have been getting there in the top division has helped me a lot‚” he said.
“And where I am now is from that game time I have been getting in Europe.
“I’m happy with my progress. The work continues – it doesn’t finish here.”
Singh was 18 when he signed for Swedish second-division club GAIS from Stars of Africa‚ an academy known for placing young players in Scandinavia.
He joined Braga a-year-and-a-half later.