Percy Tau has opened up about his experience in Europe and wasting club resources in order to try and settle into his new surroundings.
Tau capped off his second season in Belgium by winning Jupiler Pro League title with Club Brugge, 12 months after winning the Proximus Player of the Season award with Royale Union Saint-Gilloise.
Having been signed by Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion from Mamelodi Sundowns in a reported domestic record R50-million deal, the talented forward has spent two separate spells away on loan due to work-permit issues.
Speaking to Teko Modise in a PUMA South Africa Instagram Live session, Tau admits the language barrier during his time in Belgium has been one of his biggest challenges thus far.
“Everyone in the team spoke French and I didn’t know the language, I only know English, isiZulu and Sepedi,” Tau explained, while clearly finding the humorous side to his struggles. “It was difficult for the coach when he wanted to send information because there were only two of us who spoke English.
“Every time he gave a talk he would have to stop and switch languages, and at some point, we had two meetings, one where he spoke to the French players and the English-speaking players afterwards. “But it killed our game-plan because there was no time for all that. Sometimes he’d say, ‘I don’t care, you guys will have to catch up.’ “Eventually, we went for French lessons and it was difficult for a Pedi guy like me to go learn French. I wasted their money.”
Tau scored four goals and registered eight assists in 30 games across all competitions for Philippe Clement’s side before the coronavirus pandemic ended their domestic campaign.