14 May 2018 – When Percy Tau made his debut against Orlando Pirates, many got a glimpse of a great star he would become in future.
Although he found it difficult to break into Mamelodi Sundowns first team in the 2013/14, the youngster never stopped believing that he has the talent to take on the world. The already established stars in the Mamelodi Sundowns set up made it hard for the Witbank Spurs youngster to break hold down a regular position in the team.
While many players would sulk when sent out on loan, worse in the National First Division, Tau looked at the opportunity as another way to toughen up and get better. Mind you, at that time, the young player had already opened his scoring account in the CAF Champions League, having netted in a big game against TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi.
When Tau returned to Sundowns from Spurs in 2016, he started showing that he is a bag of talent. Though Sundowns’ Champions League victory in September 2016 was spear-headed by Khama Billiat, Keagan Dolly and Anthony Laffor, Tau was the secret weapon that Sundowns always had in teams that had figured out the big stars.
Everything about Tau has been genuine too. Like his blank expression when he could not believe that he has just won the CAF Champions League in Egypt at just 22 year old. From then on, Tau’s stock continued to rise, scoring a stunning goal for Mamelodi Sundowns against Jenbuk Hyundai at the Club World Cup in Japan.
International media and overseas clubs started circling over the player, but the player insisted that he was not ready to make the move. What would follow is a season that has left everyone with their jaws on the floor.
With Billiat and Laffor in and out of the team with injuries, Tau carried Sundowns, leading the club to their record eighth league title, scoring 11 goals and proving 10 assists.
To top it off, Tau is leading Sundowns’ charge in the CAF Champions’ League group stages, where Sundowns still have a chance to go far.
The Kay Motsepe League graduate’s class does not end at Sundowns. As things stand, Tau has emerged as the number one striker for Bafana Bafana. In fact, true to his big match temperament that he has shown time and again, Tau scored on his Bafana debut in the friendly against Guinea-Bissau.
This was after Tau was waiting in the wings for a while to get his playing chance.
And when he made his debut for Bafana in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, he scored against Nigeria.
When the World Cup qualifier against Burkina Faso came at the FNB Stadium, again, Tau scored, leading Bafana to a 3-1 victory. Tau is now expected to lead Sundowns in a big game against Spanish La Liga champions Barcelona on May 16.
The clash could be one that propels Tau to further stardom, with AS Monaco already showing interest in him, something that Sundowns have acknowledged.
Should he move to France, he will be joining Lebo Mothiba, another young South African striker who started his football at the SAB Leagues before he went to the Lille academy.