Bafana Bafana star Percy Tau joins Belgium’s Club Bruges

Bafana Bafana star forward Percy Tau will now have an opportunity to play in the Uefa Champions League.
Bafana Bafana star forward Percy Tau will now have an opportunity to play in the Uefa Champions League.
Image: Club Bruges/Twitter

Percy Tau has moved to Belgium’s Club Bruges and now stands in line to make a Uefa Champions League debut.

The club confirmed the transfer on Monday morning after Tau had completed his medical over the weekend and the last paperwork was shuffled through a few hours earlier.

He immediately joined his new teammates at training‚ the club announced.

The 25-year-old will be on loan for the season at the Belgian club‚ who were runners-up last season and champions the year before‚ from Brighton and Hove Albion.

But Bruges have not been given the opportunity of turning the loan into a permanent move at the end of the season‚ signaling the English club’s intent to take the player across to the Premier League next season.

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Brighton failed to get him a work permit to play in the Premier League this season because of Bafana Bafana’s poor position in the Fifa rankings.

Tau forged a solid reputation in Belgium last season with his 13 goals and 13 assists for Union St Gilloise in the second division and was named the competition’s best player.

Tau is being seen as part of a rebuilding exercise at Bruges‚ whose new coach Philippe Clement used three newcomers in Saturday’s opening game of the new Belgian league season away against Waasland-Beveren.

Two of them were Africans – David Okereke from Nigeria and the Ivorian Simon Deli.

Bruges were 3-1 away winners with Okereke netting on debut.

Tau is one of two or three more players that the coach wants to have strengthen the squad‚ as Bruges look not only for domestic success but also to participation in the Uefa Champions League.

Bruges will hope to have Tau registered for the Champions League‚ where they will take on Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev in the third qualifying round on August 6 and 13.

Their next match is on Friday against St Truiden in the league but that will come too soon for the South African international to make a debut.

Tau will not be the first South African to play for the club.

Attacking midfielder Elrio van Heerden had a successful three-year stint with the team between 2006 and 2009‚ before moving on to English Premier League Blackburn Rovers.

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