JOHANNESBURG - Such is Percy Tau’s confidence that his current form in the Belgium lower league will take him to an even better destination, the Bafana Bafana star is shutting down all the noise about him being too good for the Proximus League.
Tau has so far managed two goals and four assists in matches in the second tier following his loan move from English side Brighton & Hove Albion to Royale Union Saint-Gilloise at the start of the season.
Brighton spent a reported record R50million fee for a South African player to lure Tau away from Mamelodi Sundowns after a stellar 2017-18 campaign, one in which he was crowed the Footballer of the Season along with being a PSL title winner with Sundowns.
Naturally, there have been questions over his temporary switch to Belgium given his talent and potential. But the player, speaking for the first time about adapting to life in Europe and commenting about the uproar that he had joined a lesser league since moving, suggested he had almost paid no mind to what’s being said about his career.
“I don’t think I can justify each and everyone’s opinion,” Tau said from the Bafana training session at Steyn City School ahead of the national team’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Seychelles on Saturday (3pm kickoff).
“We live in a society where everyone has a view on things, and for me this is just a different path - one which I have taken and chosen. I have done this before. I went to Witbank Spurs (on loan from Sundowns), and it was still worth it. I never had doubts in making decisions that a lot of people won’t agree with.
“It is always good to have that personal belief that things will get better and improve. And the world is very small, when you are in Europe you are not too far from France, so for me there’s no problem.”
Tau obviously believes that he is growing at Union SG, and that Brighton’s decision to loan him out (other than work-permit issues) was to see him adapt to life abroad and getting more game time than he would have had if manager Chris Hughton was able to register him as part of his 2018-19 squad. There has also been a positional change for Tau at his new club, but he sees himself as a versatile player rather than being boxed in.
“We play a 4-4-2 formation, with two strikers and we play the same roles - he (Youssoufou Niakate, with 14 goals in 10 matches) has to defend and so do I. We just share the load, but I still play a similar position, just that there is some defending that needs to be happening that side,” he added.
Tau who could very well lead the line for Bafana as they look to brush aside lowly Seychelles this weekend and then three days later away from home. Wins in both qualifiers will all but guarantee Bafana a place at next year’s Afcon in Cameroon.