South African attacker Percy Tau has had a blistering start to life with Belgian giants RSC Anderlech scoring two goals in three appearances with the side.
Tau is currently on loan with the record Pro League winners from English Premier League side Brighton Hove&Albion, a club Tau hasn’t been able to represent since joining them from Mamelodi Sundowns in the 2017/18 season due to work permit restrictions.
FARPost looks at the four reasons why the Bafana Bafana international could be set to have his best ever season in Europe since moving from the Absa Premiership.
1. BEING PLAYED IN THE RIGHT POSITION
There have been a lot of debates about which position suits the speedy attacker especially after he did not excel to the best of his abilities while on loan at Club Brugge. Tau is a mobile player who enjoys making runs off the shoulders of defenders, such that more often than not the 26-year-old is always misjudged to be offside when in fact he isn’t.
Tau has excelled while playing the more mobile free role second striker role behind a big more physical holding striker for example at Mamelodi Sundowns there was Leornardo Castro before Jeremy Brockie was brought in with Tau playing just behind in the mobile role as Sundowns won the Champions League and later the League. In that season Tau also won the Player of the Season, overall he scored 24 goals and assisted 27 more goals at Sundowns in 102 appearances before moving overseas.
In the 2018/19 season Tau was loaned to Belgian second division outfit Royale Union Saint Gilloise where under Coach Luka Elsner Tau played the second striker role and won the Proximus League Player of the Season award turning necks with his performances. Tau scored 13 goals and assisted a further 13 in that season in 35 appearances for Saint Gilloise before giants Club Brugge came for him taking him on loan. Last season Tau was played out wide on the wing with Dennis playing upfront and Tau never really seemed to fit in with the style of play hence his lowest season tally in two seasons scoring only 4 goals and assisting 8 in competitions last season.
At Anderlecht Tau is currently being played in his more favoured central mobile striker role and the performances he has delivered in the first three games are a sign that he will thrive once again having scored twice and won a penalty already.
2. THE COACH BELIEVES IN HIM
When Tau moved to Anderlecht a video of him being welcomed by Belgian legend Vincent Kompany was trending all over South African media. In the video Kompany tells Tau that their goal as Anderlecht is to take him to the English Premier League where he will get to play with his parent club Brighton and Kompany pleaded with the Witbank-born attacker to be a leader that will guide youngsters in the team this season.
After playing him from the bench in the first two games and Tau delivering on the pitch, Kompany gave the striker his first start against KV Oostende. Tau did not disappoint scoring a beautiful team goal with great build up while coming from outside the box making a run in, much to the delight of Kompany who applauded his excellence in the post match interview heaping praise and belief in his abilities.
3. STYLE OF PLAY
Kompany is a scholar of Pep Guardiola whom he played under for years while at Manchester City with the two winning a few trophies including the English Premier League together. Against KV Oostende you could easily notice that the team believed in building from the back and playing a short passing game. In fact Tau’s goal also resembled this one two short pass approach from the coach. Last season Tau struggled to fit into the second ball style of play that Belgian champions Club Brugge employed and his statistics are proof of that. With Kompany at the helm with his passing team work abilities Tau can go on to score in almost all the games for Brugge as he has already shown glimpses of his brilliance already.
4. DESIRE TO OPEN DOORS
The 26-year-old is currently in his third season in Europe now although he signed for Brighton three years ago he hasn’t been able to play in the EPL due to strict work permit rules. On top of it all Tau has been loaned out to Belgian clubs for three seasons running now and he will feel that next season even if he doesn’t feature for Brighton a step to a more bigger league in Europe will be important for his career. If the work permit challenges go beyond this season Brighton might be tempted to cash in on the striker if suitors come, but all of that depend on his performances this season.
Tau is a player who is known for his resilience having been loaned out to Witbank Spurs by Sundowns but came back win the league and CAF Champions league. In 2017/18 he was loaned out to Union but came back to win Player of the Season and earned a move to Brugge to win the Pro League.
This season the striker seems to have come back with that fighting attitude and if history is anything to go by he will do great things and open new doors for himself.
RELATED STORY: WATCH: Percy Tau’s goal on Friday
By Prince Sobayeni