Anthony McLennan
2 minute read
7 May 2019
10:05 am

Tau caps a fine season in Belgium with ‘Player of the Season’ award

Anthony McLennan

Bafana Bafana international Percy Tau has been named as the Proximus League Player of the Season after his goalscoring exploits for Belgian second division side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise.

Percy Tau with his Player of the Season award

In 34 matches in all competitions this season, Tau scored 11 times and contributed a further 13 assists, and regularly made headlines and was featured on YouTube video clips highlighting some of his sensational ability.

“I’d like to say thank you to everyone who voted for me. A big thank you to @UnionStGilloise players and staff for the achievement, I share with y’ all. To the supporters, thank you for the warm welcome to the club,” Tau wrote on his Twitter account.

Still, currently, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) Footballer of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season in South Africa, Tau’s statistics this season are similar to last season when he scored 13 goals and provided 17 assists in all competitions for Mamelodi Sundowns.

It was that form which helped persuade English Premier League outfit Brighton Hove & Albion to snap up the Witbank-born attacker for a fee in the region of R50 million.

However, issues getting a UK work permit saw Tau loaned out to Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, and although it could have been viewed as a backward step in his career, to Tau’s credit, he’s got on with his business in a professional manner and has let his stats speak for themselves.

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright, now a television pundit, recently paid tribute to Tau and questioned the logic behind the strict work permit regulations in England.

“Look at Percy, I’ve seen him. You can’t tell me Percy cannot play at Brighton & Hove Albion. He’s good, brilliant, a good footballer, man! You have to judge people on their abilities,” Wright said.

“That’s why you need football people making these decisions. It’s not decisions for government people, civil servant people, football people have to take control of this situation.

“The problem is that (in the UK) they don’t take you on talent. They take you on logistics and red-tape – you have to play a certain amount of games internationally.”

Tau’s case for a UK work permit would be helped if the South African national team were ranked in the top 50 in the world, but Bafana Bafana are currently down in 73rd spot.

There have been no indications yet as to where Tau will play next season, but after his exploits in Belgium, and with the chance to shine on the international stage for South Africa in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, it’s likely that Tau, who turns 25 next week, will not be short on suitors from across the European leagues.

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