There have been 13 South African players who have featured in the English Premier League and Bafana Bafana star, Percy Tau is hoping to make it lucky number 14.
The 26-year-old has seen his stock rise rapidly after being snapped up by English outfit Brighton & Hove Albion from Mamelodi Sundowns in 2018.
Strict work permit regulations meant that Tau’s English dream was halted, with fears that he might never don a Seagulls shirt.
To his credit, Tau has performed with aplomb in the meanwhile. Loan stints at Royal Union Saint-Gilloise, Club Brugge and Anderlecht, has seen him take the European scene by storm.
Having conquered almost everywhere he has set foot, the 'Lion of Judah' still harbors ambitions of following in the footsteps of South African greats such as Steven Pienaar, Benni McCarthy and Aaron Mokoena, who have all left their mark on English football.
“I would be very proud if I was to play in the Premier League. People from my country are always looking out for players who compete in the big divisions across the world. We give hope to the next generation of players in South Africa. It helps them to have something to aim towards. I would be very proud if I could be one of those players,” Tau said speaking to Brighton’s official website.
“I am just grateful that Brighton were able to sign me from South Africa. I will always be proud of that moment and cherish them for giving me the opportunity to come to Europe.
“I have so many names I remember watching. We had Steven Pienaar playing for Everton, Benni McCarthy and Aaron Mokoena as well. Those are probably the names I reflect most on because of their involvement with the South African national team” Tau added.
Tau has been a regular under coach Vincent Kompany this season - a man whose last mission in the Premier League was to deliver the league title to Pep Guardiola and Manchester City before parting ways with the club.
The attacker admits to keeping an eye on Brighton’s progress from a distance.
“I can only speak from the outside, but the team has been playing well and have some interesting players in the side. They're the first result and matches I look for.”
Tau recently received a massive boost when it was revealed that there could be an easing of work permit regulations in the UK due to Brexit, something that will push the man from Secunda closer to realizing his Premier League dream.
Tau and Themba Zwane were on fire for Bafana. View action from Bafana's win: