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Benni Reacts To Tau’s Al Ahly Transfer

Benni McCarthy believes that Percy Tau has taken a step back in his career by leaving the world’s best league to return to Africa.

The reigning DStv Coach of the Season spoke to local journalists during a press conference with the South Africa Football Journalists Association (SAFJA) and was asked about his feelings around Tau’s move to Al Ahly.

McCarthy insisted that he feels Tau has given in and shown a mentality problem of South African players by returning to Africa in the prime of his career.

“I think at this point in time Percy Tau and his peers around him, they probably thought for the best options for him and his career at this point in time,” McCarthy told SAFJA. 

“He is a very talented player, spending most of his time on the bench and not playing is a far tougher experience, where he is maybe dropping down a level but playing week in week out and compete for titles and play in the CAF Champions League.

“My personal opinion and feeling, I think it was a move backwards for him. I’ve seen Percy Tau when he was still at Sundowns, when he was still a boy and he is a hell of a player.

“His mentality is great, his work ethic and when you have that there is nothing stopping you from succeeding. I think when you look at the players he was up against at Brighton like Maupay, or Welbeck… but I rather compete for a place in the side than competing against Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi, Lewandowski, Lukaku, when you have these players ahead of you and don’t play, it makes sense to take a step down  because these are world-class players.

“But players like Maupay, Tau is not really too far away from him. I think Tau is the far better player, he is great vision, in front of goal his deadly. If he had stuck to his guns, his opportunity would have come.

“He was in one of the best leagues in the world, everyone is watching from all over the world. There ain’t no better league than playing in England, Bundesliga, LaLiga, Serie A and Ligue 1. I can only assume he wanted to play.

“When you play among the best in the world, you stay and grab it with both hands. I’m also take a bit a back that he has left. But he has not just gone to any team, he has gone to Al Ahly, the biggest on the continent.

“He has made it clear that’s South African players are like, they don’t have strong willpower, they don’t have that determination because he has come back to Africa.

“Al Ahly are a great club, but they are not Liverpool, or Chelsea, you play against Pyramids, other teams in Africa, so for me it is a step down.

“I hope he can prove everyone wrong.

“It’s making it much, much tougher players for South African players to make it overseas, because that’s what people will think, he’s left when the going gets tough, that’s the mentality people will associate to us.

“But I wish him all the best, he has reunited with his father Pitso Mosimane and I hope it can be a good thing for the national team.

“It is sad, because now we don’t have many players playing in Premier League and the biggest name has also come back to Africa.”