First Fandi Ahmad, then V. Sundram Moorthy, and now Singapore has a third local-born Lion plying his trade in Europe.
After a successful one-week trial, Ikhsan Fandi, the second son of local football legend Fandi, signed a two-year deal with Norwegian second-tier club Raufoss on Saturday, making him the first Singaporean international to join a European club in 30 years.
Sundram played for Swiss side FC Basel from 1988 to 1989, while Fandi was with Dutch team Groningen from 1983 to 1985.
While Ikhsan, 19, will kick off his European sojourn with a more obscure team away from the bright lights his father was used to, the football agent who helped broker the deal told The Straits Times Raufoss could be a useful springboard to launch his career. Mr Navjot Singh Brar said: "Ikhsan fits what Raufoss are looking for - a young striker with good potential and attitude, and we expect him to play and not just be a name on the squad list."
He was confident that if Ikhsan played well regularly, he would be talent-spotted by a larger club.
The 1.83m, 79kg forward had a breakthrough year last year, scoring five times in eight games for Singapore from September to November, including a bicycle-kick goal in the 6-1 AFF Suzuki Cup win over Timor-Leste. He also netted eight times in 20 games for the Young Lions in the Singapore Premier League.