Brighton and Hove Albion loanee Percy Tau might not get to live his dream of playing in the Premier League, due to growing concerns around his work permit.
The Bafana Bafana international and former Absa Premiership Footballer of the Year was loaned to Belgian second division outfit Royal Union Saint-Gilloise at the beginning of the season, after conquering the South African top flight with a number of eye-catching performances throughout the season.
The 24-year-old’s big-money move from the former Caf Champions League champions sent shock waves throughput the football fraternity. However, the move was put on ice due to work permit issues which prevented Tau from plying his trade in the Premier League.
As a result, Tau was shipped off to Royal Union in the Belgian second tier, which notably is also owned by Tony Bloom – The Seagulls’ owner.
Despite Tau making waves in Belgium with four goals and five assists in 13 matches in all competitions, Brighton coach Chris Hughton has suggested that the work permit issue could prove to be a real snag.
‘[If in] any way, he can get a work permit, then we have a decision in the summer to bring him back for a period of time or go out on loan at a different level,’ he told the Brighton media.
‘At the moment the level he is playing at is Belgian second tier.
‘We can’t make any decision on it. If he hasn’t got a work permit, then the decision is where he plays his football, not whether he comes back here or not.
‘We get regular reports on the players out on loan, including Percy, and he is doing well.
‘We are conscious of that. We are also conscious that he is doing well at international level, so that has got to be good for him.
‘But we can’t make any decisions until the end of the season, and the bit that is out of our hands is the work permit,’ he concluded.
Tau signed a five-year deal with Brighton. which will keep him at the Sussex club until 2022.
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