Percy Tau: Al Ahly confirm signing of former Brighton & Hove Albion forward

Percy Tau, Al Ahly, August 2021

Egyptian giants Al Ahly have announced the signing of Percy Tau as their new player from Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Bafana Bafana star joins the Egyptian giants on a four year deal and becomes the second South African to play for Al Ahly after Phakamani Mahlambi.

He still had a year left on his contract with the Premier League club but after struggling to cement a place in the Brighton team, Tau opted to team up with his former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane.

"I choose history," Tau said in a video as Al Ahly announced, "The Lion of Judah is here."

After another video of his imminent unveiling by the reigning African champions was leaked on Thursday morning, it became certain that he was going to be an Al Ahly player.

This ends weeks of speculation about his future as he appeared unhappy with his lack of game time at Brighton, while Mosimane openly declared his intention to bring him to Egypt.

After arriving at the Seagulls in January 2021 from loan stints in Belgium, Tau managed just three Premier League appearances and featured in the FA Cup as many times.

He seemed to have impressed Brighton manager Graham Potter in a pre-season friendly against Luton Town early in August, but talk of him going to Al Ahly still intensified. 

Brighton also confirmed Tau's move to Cairo.

“I have really enjoyed working with Percy," said Potter.

"He is very professional and extremely popular with the rest of the squad, but at this stage of his career he wants to be playing regularly and we fully understand that. This move gives him the opportunity to do that and he is joining one of Africa’s top clubs. On behalf of everyone at the club I wish him well for the future.”

Al Ahly also announced the signing of Mozambique attacking midfielder Luis Miquissone from Simba SC and 21-year-old left-back Karim Fouad from Nogoom FC on Thursday.

When Tau was getting closer to joining Al Ahly, the imminent move divided opinion in South Africa.

For a player who had participated in the Uefa Champions League, some felt moving back to Africa would be a step back in his career after having played at the highest level in Europe. 

He featured in the Champions League with Belgian side Club Brugge, facing Real Madrid and PSG in what was regarded as the epitome of his career.

Bafana legend Lucas Radebe and ex-Kaizer Chiefs winger were one of the prominent figures against Tau joining Al Ahly.

But the player had the support of South Africa coach Hugo Broos who felt the move to Egypt would afford him regular game time which would benefit Bafana Bafana.

Now having moved to Al Ahly, Tau is almost certain to be available for Bafana’s 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers next month after concerns that Brighton would not release him to travel to a red-listed country.

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