Top UK football prospect continues prolific goal scoring in Portugal

An exciting football prospect from south London has continued his prolific goal scoring in Portugal after grabbing two goals in a 3-1 victory over Sporting Club Portugal.

Nathan Laleye was snapped up by Grupo Sportivo de Loures this summer after becoming the youngest footballer to play for Guildford City FC in February, aged just 16 years and two months.

The youngster has hit the ground running for the club’s Under 17s A team side, having already scored seven goals and assisted seven times since he joined in July.

He starred in a 3-1 friendly victory against Sporting, after coming on in the last 20 minutes and scoring two. 

(Picture: Pedro Jorge Rodrigues)
(Picture: Pedro Jorge Rodrigues)
(Picture: Pedro Jorge Rodrigues)

Nathan made his friendly debut against Fabril Barreiro, scoring two goals and grabbing one assist in an 8-1 victory. 

He then played against Benfica’s women’s first team, scoring one and assisting one in a 5-0 demolition. 

Next up was a friendly against Estoril Praia, where he got an assist in a 2-2 draw. He then scored one as his side beat Odivelas 3-1.

Following these friendlies, Nathan’s FIFA papers arrived and he was finally able to make his debut in the national championship for the Under 17s team.

He has played five games since, winning two, drawing one and losing two.

Nathan has scored one and assisted four in the league games.

Nathan Laleye
Nathan Laleye signed for Grupo Sportivo de Loures this summer

Loures manager Ivo Miranda has praised Nathan for his work ethic. 

He said: “Nathan is very focused on his tasks, hardworking, and trains and plays with a lot of intensity.

“He is aggressive with and without the ball, very vertical and looks for a lot of moves for the opponent’s goal.” 

Miranda added Nathan loves to listen and learn. 

Loures manager Ivo Miranda
Loures manager Ivo Miranda

 

(Picture: Pedro Jorge Rodrigues)
(Picture: Pedro Jorge Rodrigues)
(Picture: Pedro Jorge Rodrigues)

It’s no surprise Nathan has been deadly in front of the goal, with Player Impact’s previous stat article on the youngster showing how prolific he is.

Nathan scored an impressive 74 goals in a single season at Dagenham and Redbridge’s youth team when he was just 11.

Coach Miranda’s words echoed what Guilford City FC manager Paul Barnes said about Nathan after his record-breaking debut against AFC Hayes in the Combined Counties League Premier Division.

He added: “It was a superb debut from Nathan Laleye. He has a bright future in the game.

“I was so proud of him for his performance and maturity in stepping up to senior football. He was bright and hardworking. 

“What a way to introduce yourself as a 16-year-old.”

Nathan Laleye
Nathan Laleye became the youngest footballer to play for Guildford City FC
Nathan Laleye and dad Richard
Nathan Laleye and dad Richard

Nathan’s dad Richard told Player Impact Nathan has adjusted well to Portuguese life. 

He said: “Nathan has settled in very well in Portugal. He’s happy to have finally received his FIFA papers and looks forward to having a stable professional football career in Portugal.

“He has been training four days a week with the matches on a Sunday, also he goes to the gym five days a week, so he is  very disciplined as well as doing his studies.”

Richard added: “Life in Portugal is great, you have to get used to it, it’s a different pace to London, everyone is more laid back here and relaxed.

“The Portuguese people are very friendly and have made us all feel welcome here. They also play to win which is a good thing.

“We would like to thank everyone at Grupo Sportivo de Loures for their support since we arrived here in May, also Nathan’s agent Pauio Vaiente for all his hard work and guidance.”

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