CAPE TOWN – Bafana Bafana striker Percy Tau has taken a step in the right direction after swapping Belgian Second Division outfit Union St Gilloise for top-flight giants Club Brugge.
The transfer to Brugge is a loan deal, with Tau still belonging to English Premiership side Brighton Hove & Albion - who failed to secure him a work permit to play in England this season - but remain hopeful of doing so in the future.
Tau completed his transfer to Club Brugge over the weekend and the news was confirmed by the club on Monday, with the player set to begin training with immediate effect.
The 25-year-old former Mamelodi Sundowns ace was named as the Player of the Season in Belgium's second tier after netting 12 goals and providing 13 assists for Union St Gilloise last term.
The previous year the diminutive forward from Witbank was crowned as the South African Premier Soccer League's Player of the Season.
Now he'll be hoping to put himself in the shop window by excelling for Brugge, who were formed in 1890 and are second only to Anderlecht as Belgium's most decorated club.
Brugge finished last season in second position in the league, behind Genk, and won the most recent of their 15 titles in the 2017/ 18 campaign.
The Belgian top-flight has increasingly provided a grooming ground for players before being signed by clubs in Europe's bigger leagues, such as England, Spain, Germany and Italy.
Tau's new team will potentially be featured on the biggest club stage of all – the UEFA Champions League, which would give South Africa's most exciting talent the chance to prove his worth to a global audience.
But first, they need to negotiate a tricky home and away qualification tie against Ukraine side Dynamo Kiev in mid-August.
Brugge, under head coach Philippe Clement, have already begun their league campaign, with a 3-1 away win over Waasland-Beveren last Saturday.
The club has also signed two other African-born players - David Okereke from Nigeria and Simon Deli from the Ivory Coast, with Okereke netting on debut over the weekend.
African News Agency (ANA)