Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has repeatedly made it clear that Al Ahly star Percy Tau will only find his way back into his side on two conditions.
Rather, one or the other of the two conditions he laid out in 2022 as the national team began its AFCON 2023 qualifying campaigns can get him back into the fold.
The former Brighton attacker either had to move to another club where he would get regular game time, or he had to force his way into the Al Ahly starting lineup.
However, injuries have blighted his Ahly stay, and FARPost looks at how he has fared since the last time the Belgian mentor left him out of Bafana.
Tau was omitted from the squad that played international friendly matches against Mozambique and Angola at the Mbombela Stadium.
The coach stressed that he was hoping for more game time for the former Mamelodi Sundowns talisman.
“I hope he gets his position in Al Ahly, or he moves in January ,” Broos said on November 16, 2022.
A potential January move to Sundowns could not happen with reports that Ahly refused to listen to the South African champions’ offer.
With the stage set in the most significant global club competition – the FIFA Club World Cup – Tau flattered to deceive when brought on in the 61st minute against Real Madrid.
His Al Ahly capitulated, losing 4-1 in the semi-final of the prestigious tournament.
In fact, Tau has only played 211 minutes in the league this season; two have been starts, while four were off the bench.
He has missed 10 matches for Al Ahly in the league. However, a glimmer of hope would be that he has featured in all three club World Cup matches and scored one goal.
Against Auckland City of New Zealand, he came on in the 75th minute and scored a goal in the 3-0 win.
Against America’s Seattle Sounders, he played 90 minutes as they won 1-0. He was introduced in Wednesday’s clash against Real Madrid at the hour mark.
Tau could not help his team as they battled to contain the marauding Galacticos.
Former Egypt national team assistant coach Diaa El-Sayed, a former Ahly player, said Tau’s future at Ahly hung in the balance.
On Tau’s future, El-Sayed added: “I don’t think the coach has big trust in Percy Tau; I don’t think Percy Tau will stay long at Ahly.”
The 28-year-old hopes to pick up his form in the next six matches ahead of the AFCON qualifier against Liberia.
Bafana host the West Africans on March 20 before visiting them a week later. Interestingly, Broos will have a chance to have a closer look on February 25 and March 7, when Ahly plays Sundowns in the CAF Champions League.
However, the ‘Lion of Judah’ will have to stay fit until then to claim back his starting place.