Percy Tau belongs in Europe but not yet‚ says Sundowns coach Mosimane

Sundowns' Percy Tau and coach Pitso Mosimane celebrate one of the team's best moments this year. / Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images
Sundowns' Percy Tau and coach Pitso Mosimane celebrate one of the team's best moments this year. / Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images
Image: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

Percy Tau and his coach Pitso Mosimane agree – the Mamelodi Sundowns star belongs in Europe‚ but not just yet.

Tau‚ the most exciting attacking prospect to emerge in South African football in the post-2010 World Cup era‚ said on Thursday that he believes the standard of the Premier Soccer League is high‚ and his game is still developing there.

“I have been to the Club World Cup‚ played for Bafana Bafana and played in the Champions League‚” said Tau as he was being presented with the December player of the month award at the PSL offices‚ where Mosimane was receiving coach of the month.

“And to be honest with you I don’t think it’s too bad (in the PSL).

"I look at all the work that we do with the coach‚ and my teammates always agree with me – there is progress‚ and then you can always be better.

“I don’t know if Europe will always give me the opportunity. But being in South Africa‚ I think that I try‚ and with the coach there have been a lot of things that we have worked on a lot.

“And then we see a better Percy in those situations‚ even if football doesn’t always present all of those situations.

"But‚ I mean‚ we’ve got about 70 percent of them out of the way‚ so it’s not bad.

“So‚ ja‚ I think South African football is actually higher now. I think the standard is really good.

“There’s not much difference. I don’t know if I’m ready.”

Mosimane said that he believes 2016 Caf Champions League winner Tau (23) should stay at least a year with Sundowns‚ iron out a few flaws‚ then try to move to a top European league.

“I always tell him that we are a little bit behind schedule because I wish I could have him‚ the way he’s playing (now)‚ at 20‚” the coach said.

“But it’s never too late. He deserves to play football in Europe.

“But you know me‚ I’m always conservative.

"Last time I said‚ and you guys (the media) wrote about it‚ that Keagan (Dolly‚ who left Sundowns for Montpellier a year ago) needed one more year.

“I remember‚ I think it was Farouk Khan on TV‚ saying‚ ‘He’s ready – he should go’.

“But I still think I was right. Because he’s a really good football player (but) I needed to work with him one more year to clean up a few things.

“And as much as we all want Percy to go to Europe‚ we also know that there’s a few things we need to clean up‚ a little bit.

“And then let them go to top leagues. Let’s have a player in La Liga or Bundesliga.”

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