Percy Tau named in Brighton squad to face Newport County

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Percy Tau, Bafana Bafana, October 2020
The South Africa international has been inserted straight into Graham Potterโ€™s FA Cup squad

South Africa international Percy Tau has been included directly in the Brighton & Hove Albion squad to face Newport County in the FA Cup on Sunday evening, only days after returning to the club.

The forward returned from his loan spell at Anderlecht on Thursday after the Seagulls decided they wanted him back in their squad to battle against relegation from the Premier League.

He had spent the last two seasons on loan in Belgium since joining Brighton from Mamelodi Sundowns in 2018, after being unable to secure a work permit to play in England.

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However, the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union has changed the rules regarding players' ability to play in England despite not having the required number of caps as per the previous EU guidelines, prompting Brighton to recall Tau.

He was immediately registered for the Seagulls' FA Cup campaign and has been named among the substitutes for their Third Round tie against Newport.

Brighton boss Graham Potter has opted to lead the line with Andi Zeqiri, Neal Maupay and Alexis Mac Allister, with Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Solly March operating in wide areas against Michael Flynn's side.

Speaking ahead of Tau's potential debut, Potter talked up the attacker's time in the Jupiler League with Anderlecht.

โ€œI think he has made the most of his time there. He has had some fantastic experiences in Belgium," Potter told the club website . โ€œAs a footballer, you have got a path and you want to go one way, but sometimes you are knocked off and you have to find another path and he has done that.

โ€œHe has made the most of his experiences in Belgium and now he is here with us and we are happy for him to be here," Potter added. โ€œPercy is pleased to be here permanently and so are we. Now we have to help him settle in and help him enjoy his football.โ€

Tau also spoke excitedly about the prospect of finally making his mark with the south-coast club.

โ€œI am blessed to be here โ€“ it has been a long journey and I am grateful for the opportunity in front of me," Tau told the club website. โ€œThere has always been excitement back home since I signed for Brighton. I have been out on loan and now they're celebrating the fact that I am back and ready to play.

โ€œWe don't have many South Africans playing in the Premier League. We used to in the past, but at the moment we don't so it gives them pride to see me with Brighton.โ€