Mamelodi Sundowns forward Phakamani Mahlambi admires Percy Tau and has been following his success in Europe with Belgium outfit Club Brugge.
Mahlambi lit up the Absa Premiership during his debut campaign for Bidvest Wits during the 2015-16 season, in which he was named Young Player of the Season for bagging four goals and three assists from 16 appearances before sustaining cruciate ligament rupture, which kept him out for the remainder of the season.
The Gauteng-born forward then earned a move to Egyptian giants Al Ahly, but an injury disrupted his form at the Egyptian Premier League outfit, where he found the net once and assisted a further five goals from 15 appearances across all competitions.
Mahlambi returned to South Africa when he signed for Sundowns as Tau’s replacement at the beginning of the 2018-19 season. He has already found the back of the net six times from 36 appearances over two season with the Brazilians.
Mahlambi insists he is motivated by the likes of Tau to improve his performance and earn a move abroad.
‘I think it’s a good thing for everyone in South Africa – our football is growing with the guys that have already gone overseas,’ Mahlambi told the media.
‘It’s motivating for us that are still here to work even harder, looking at the likes of Percy Tau playing in the Uefa Champions League – it’s every player’s dream to play there.
‘But right now, I’m just focused on getting back to the Phakamani that used to play for Wits before I got injured, and I believe everything else will follow.’
The 22-year-old also opened up on the difference between playing for Bidvest Wits compared to Sundowns at his current age.
‘There’s a lot of difference,’ he said.
‘Playing at that stage at the age that I was, I was just playing football to enjoy it but now it’s no longer the same. There’s a lot of things coming up, and there are so many more responsibilities.
‘When I was playing at Wits, there wasn’t too much information on, “Phakamani, do this” or “Phakamani, do that”, because I used to play as a kid just to enjoy myself.
‘But now the football has changed, a lot has changed, and we also need to grow and adapt as footballers. I feel like, with the coach talking to me, I just need to improve on the tactics and hopefully then I’ll get my chance to play.’
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