Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Tau inherits Musona’s Anderlecht number

He starred alongside Khama Billiat at Mamelodi Sundowns and was then signed by an English Premiership side he never played for two years.

AN INSPIRATIONAL LEADER . . . Zimbabwe skipper Knowledge Musona appears ready for action on arrival at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare yesterday
Zimbabwe skipper Knowledge Musona appears ready for action on arrival at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare (March 2019)

Now, Percy Tau has inherited the number 11 jersey Knowledge Musona used to wear at Anderlecht.

The South African football star completed a season-long loan move to the Belgian giants last week.

Musona remains on the books of Anderlecht but has extended his loan deal at another Belgian side, KAS Eupen, for another season.

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The Warriors captain featured in the 1-1 draw against Leuven on Monday in a league match.

Interestingly, before the Smiling Assassin extended his loan deal at KAS Eupen, he has been reported to be on his way to Mamelodi Sundowns.

His old jersey number at Anderlecht will now belong to Tau, at least, for this season.

The South African star has been struggling to secure a work permit to play in England despite having signed for Brighton and Hove on July 20, 2018 in a £2.5m deal.

Tau helped Club Brugge win the Belgian championship last season after clubs in the Juliper League voted to bring an early end to the season. Club Brugge had opened a 15-point lead ahead of KAA Gent.

He scored four goals and provided eight assists in 30 games across all competitions.

However, his dreams of playing in the English Premiership have repeatedly hit a brick wall as he cannot get a work permit.

“There seems little hope of new work permit rules for footballers from outside the EU being introduced anytime soon — so if Percy Tau is going to play for Brighton, he will need to qualify through one of the existing paths,’’ noted the “wearebrighton” website.

“The first of those paths involved a player from outside the European Union having played 75% of matches for a national side in the top 50 of FIFA’s World Rankings.

“South Africa are currently 71st. They haven’t cracked the top 50 once since Percy Tau signed for Brighton two years ago, ruling international football out as a route for Tau to claim a work permit.

“Tau, therefore, has to earn points for his feats on the domestic field to qualify.

“Points are available for players who played in at least 30% of available minutes for a club in one of Europe’s top seven leagues. There are further points to be had from playing 30% of available minutes in the Champions League or Europa League.

“Both these points are available on a sliding scale; the more minutes you play above the 30% mark where recognition starts, the more points you get.

“No matter how impressive Tau’s feats in the 2018-19 season with Union, his efforts there all counted for nothing in terms of work permit points.

“The Belgian second tier is not one of Europe’s top seven divisions, nor were Union taking part in any continental competition.’’

Tau moved into the Belgian top-flight last season and there were hopes that would boost his chances to get a work permit to play for his parent English Premiership club.

“Which is why Tau’s move to Brugge last summer was so important. The amount of game time Percy Tau received playing for Brugge both in the Jupiler League and Europe would directly impact on his chances of getting clearance to play for Brighton in the 2020-21 campaign,’’ noted the “wearebrighton” website.

“For Tau to qualify for a British Work Permit, he really needs those percentages to be pushing 70%. His league minutes are particularly troubling, playing in just over a third of Brugge’s available minutes.

“It, therefore, seems unlikely that Percy Tau has done enough with Brugge this season to be granted the right to play for Brighton in 2020-21, whenever that may be.’’

And, this turned out to be true as Tau ended up being loaned to another Belgian side, Anderlecht, for the new season.

He will be under the guidance of Manchester City legend, Vincent Kompany, who has already revealed they will try to help Tau find a way to play in England.

“I hope this is going to be an amazing journey,” said Kompany as he welcomed Tau to the club.

“You said you’ve come here for the next step. So, we are going to push you to become the best player you can be.

“I know they are looking back to you in the Premier League. So, it’s our role to take you there.’’ However, Kompany’s future at the club is in doubt after angry fans called for his axing following a 2-2 draw against Mechelen after Anderlecht had taken a 2-0 lead.

Tau, though, hopes to explode at Anderlecht.

“I am part of a team that always wants to play good and attacking football, that suits me perfectly,” he told the Anderlecht official website.

Former Bafana Bafana midfielder, Maimane Phiri, who spent six years in Turkey, is concerned that the club-hopping could work against Tau’s development. — The Herald/Agencies.