Bafana Bafana star Percy Tau’s delayed dream of playing in the English Premier League (EPL) could finally come to fruition sooner than expected.
Reports across Europe suggest Tau is already in the UK, waiting for the approval of his work permit. Tau’s chances of getting a permit to ply his trade in the UK have been boosted by Brexit, the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU).
As a non-EU player, Tau initially struggled to secure a work permit due to Bafana being outside the top 50 in the Fifa rankings. However, the new UK laws, since Brexit, appear to be disregarding the Fifa rankings requirement.
A source close to the Bafana star told Sowetan Tau expects to get his papers before next week. Receiving his papers will enable Tau to eventually turn out for Brighton & Hove Albion, the club that paid Mamelodi Sundowns a fee in the region of R50m for his services, in June 2018.
Speaking to Sowetan yesterday, Tau’s representative Mmatsatsi Sefalafala insisted she was not at liberty to disclose the details about Tau’s impending switch to Brighton, promising to engage us further next week.
“At the moment, I am not able to talk about this. I want to allow the process to unfold and then you’ll be informed. I don’t want to jump the gun. Possibly by next week I should be able to give details about this matter,’’ Sefalafala said.
When he joined from Downs, Tau, 26, couldn’t meet the UK work permit requirements, subsequently spending close to three years on loan at three Belgian clubs in second tier’s Royal Union Saint Gallioise and two top-flight giants Club Brugge and Vincent Kompany's Anderlecht, respectively.
The experience Tau accumulated in Belgium, where he also featured in the Uefa Champions League with Brugge last season, has also made things a bit easier for him to be considered for a work permit this time around.
On the back of his four goals and eight assists from 30 games in all competitions for Brugge last season, Tau had already netted four goals and notched up an assist in 14 games for Anderlecht, before Brighton’s ongoing attempt to call him back.
The Seagulls occupy the 17th spot on the EPL table. It’s believed Brighton coach Graham Potter banks on Tau’s arrival to change their fortunes as they’ve been struggling to convert their chances.