It appears that Brighton and Hove Albion’s decision not to release Percy Tau for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is paying dividends, with the Seagulls coach Graham Potter now singing a different tune about the player.
Tau was selected as part of the over-aged players in coach David Notoane’s under-23 side, however Brighton refused to release the 27-year-old as the event did not fall within the official FIFA calendar.
It now appears that the decision by the Brighton coach has paid off. By not going to the Olympics, the player has had more time to gel with his teammates and fully acclimatize himself to the style of play.
This was evident in Tau’s virtuoso performance against Luton on Saturday where he scored a Messi-esque solo goal in Brighton’s 3-1 win, catapulting himself into consideration for a starting berth in the Seagulls’ English Premier League opener against Burnley on 14 August.
"That is one of the reasons he is here with us. He saw the value of being here, training with the players from the start, competing for his place,” Potter told the media about Tau missing the Olympics.
The Siya crew reported that Tau was subject of a R66m bid from Belgian outfit Royal Antwerp, but that appears to have died down, with Tau back in the reckoning at the English outfit.
“The goal was fantastic. He was positive, he got at his man, showed great skill, and it was a nice finish. Really good for him. He has been working hard. It is not easy to settle and adapt but he has been doing that and he got his reward today.
"I’m pleased for him that he scores. It is nice to have as much competition in that area of the pitch as you can. I thought him and Florin [Andone] did well in the second half and Neal [Maupay] and Aaron [Connolly] did well in the first half so that’s positive,” he said.
View the most valuable South African players: