Bafana Bafana coach Ntseki Molefi has tipped Percy Tau for “a massive career” in Europe and has urged patience over his progress.
The former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder has had two loan spells since signing for English Premiership side Brighton & Hove Albion in July 2018, due to his inability to secure a work permit in England.
Tau was crowned Player of the Season in the Belgian second division for Royal Union St Gilloise before a second loan spell with Club Brugge, who were recently declared Belgian champions after the season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tau netted four goals and made eight assists in 17 starts across all competitions over the course of the 2019/20 campaign.
However, the diminutive midfielder’s next destination remains unclear, but his Bafana boss says he should not burden himself about talk that he needs to go to a bigger club.
“Everybody has an opinion about footballers, but remember Aaron (Mokoena), (Steven) Pienaar and Benni (McCarthy) all started at little known clubs, and I think the same is happening with Percy. We tend to be very impatient because we want our players to play for the biggest teams in the world,” Ntseki told FARPost.
“Look at (Odion) Ighalo, it didn’t really work out initially in England (with Watford), he went to China and returned to play for one of the world’s biggest teams (Manchester United).”
Ntseki believes the most important thing is “to stay positive and professional”.
“Let’s not put him under pressure, we all want him to play for the best team in the world, but time will tell.”
Ntseki added he was happy with the progress the 2017/18 PSL Footballer of the Year has made since moving to Europe from Mamelodi Sundowns. Tau turns 26 on Thursday.
“We didn’t know much about Percy, he did well for Royal Union (St Gilloise) and then going to Club Brugge, he did well again. It means there’s steady progress in his career. Percy will end up being the top player that we are patiently waiting for.”
Meanwhile, Ntseki said he had been in touch with Bafana’s foreign-based contingent and the majority were doing fine. “I’ve been in touch with some of our overseas-based players, they have been very good, staying at home with their families. It was very positive.”
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By Mthokozisi Dube