Two seasons ago South African striker Percy Tau took a big step in his career deciding to move overseas after being named the Player of the Season in local football’s topflight.
Tau made headlines when he signed a long-term contract with English Premier League side Brighton Hove and Albion.
But due to work permit restrictions the attacker was not able to play in the English Premier League which led to his loan to Saint Gilloise Union in the Belgian second tier for the 2018/19 season.
Tau won Player of the Year in the Belgian second tier before joining former Belgian champions Club Brugge in the topflight for the 2019/20 season.
The 25-year-old from Witbank, Mpumalanga, had a blistering start in the Belgian topflight scoring on his debut in a season that he started strongly but finished very slow.
He finished the season with 4 goals and 8 assists in 30 games played in all competitions for Club Brugge.
Brugge finished top of the log and were recently crowned champions after the Jupiler Pro league board took a decision to immediately end the season due to the Coronavirus.
Another major success for Tau is that he also played in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League coming up against top opposition such as Manchester United, PSG and Real Madrid which is big considering he was playing in the Belgian second tier just a season ago.
The most important thing to note though is not his goals nor assists, but the fact that after waiting two seasons South Africa might be able to see their talisman in the Premier league next season.
One of the conditions for a special work permit for players from countries outside of the top 50 in world rankings is that the player must have played in UEFA competitions in the past 24 months. Tau winning the League title with Brugge will also add points for him when he applies for a work permit again.
Brighton now have a strong case to apply for Tau to finally play for them in the Premier League. It seems their gamble of signing him on a 4-year deal knowing that he might possibly never play for them has paid off.
Tau is not new to such challenges as he was once loaned out to Witbank Spurs by Mamelodi Sundowns and he came back stronger and better to help them to CAF Champions League success, which resulted in them play in the FIFA Club World Cup in 2016 and he scored a superb goal against Jeonbuk.
If Tau’s progress is anything to go by, he’s destined for even bigger things.
By Prince Sobayeni