After RSC Anderlecht said goodbye to Kemar Roofe on Tuesday, Sporting brought in a new player with Percy Tau a day later. The qualities of Tau are of course already known by his recent passage at Club Brugge, where he was played last season as a flank attacker and central striker. In the latter role, the South African made the most playing minutes, but at the moment it is still unclear what exactly Anderlecht have in store for Tau.
MORE SPEAKER AT CLUB
Sporting director Peter Verbeke was already a satisfied man after he could rent Percy Tau for one season from Brighton & Hove Albion. “Percy is a player who already knows the capital and the league. He is a creative, technically strong, fast and agile player and can handle various attacking positions. In addition, he has already demonstrated that he can be efficient and decisive. Due to a lack of preparation we still have to give him some time to be important to us, but we are of course happy with his added value for our core ”, Verbeke said on the RSC Anderlecht club website.
Photo: Twitter RSC Anderlecht
Verbeke emphasized that Tau can handle various attacking positions, which is an interesting approach. At Club Brugge, for example, the fast South African trotted on the left and right flank, where he played 416 of his total 959 league minutes. The rest 543 minutes Tau was used as central attacker, the position where he played the most. This multi-employability is a godsend for a financially tormented Anderlecht, because it won one footballer who can fill multiple positions. But at Neerpede it does not seem to be clear yet where Tau can function best, but based on the past season at Club Brugge, that would be the lead attacker by far.
SCORING FROM THE FLANK
Anderlecht scored 45 goals last season and in that area no fewer than six teams from the Jupiler Pro League performed better than Sporting. During the current season preparation, the team of coach Francky Vercauteren found it very difficult to find the way to the goal. With a view to the competition start next weekend, it does not look very rosy in terms of scoring goals. With the departure of Nacer Chadli and Kemar Roofe the team lost no less than 23% of its total goal production. At first glance, the arrival of Percy Tau doesn’t seem to change that too much, at least as a central attacker.
At Club Brugge, Tau was still able Scoring 0.28 goal per 90 minuteswhich is a nice average but certainly not exceptional. In Lotto Park, for example, Chadli and Roofe made the nets vibrate more regularly with 0.55 and 0.44 goals per 90 minutes, respectively. Remarkably, the South African was able to score more easily from a flank position than as a central striker, and that is perhaps something Vercauteren should bear in mind. With his 0.28 goal per 90 minutes, Tau succeeds in a better goal than his new fellow flank attackers Francis Amuzu (0.21 goal), Jérémy Doku (0.2 goal) and Yari Verschaeren (0.12 goal).
JUST BETTER THAN SOBOL AND SARDELLA
In total, Tau was able to score three league goals at Club Brugge, and as offensive players that is not a number to write home about. It is therefore not surprising that the South African is not a real killer. The 26-year-old could also do in his current career never score more than seven league goals per season, that number of goals dates back to the season 2016/2017 when he played for the South African Mamelodi Sundowns. Also at Anderlecht, the fans should not immediately expect many goals, or Tau would suddenly have to undergo a major metamorphosis.
His low goal count explains a lack of killer instinct, and that’s supported by the number of shots fired that actually land on goal. Tau could barely last season one in five shots between the target box aiming and that is a dramatic statistic. At Club Brugge, only Edouard Sobol (17%) had an even worse position, and at Anderlecht it was Killian Sardella (14%). Both Sobol and Sardella are defenders, while Tau invariably takes an offensive role.
WHAT TAU CAN CONTRIBUTE
Even though Percy Tau does not immediately have a natural beetle instinct, the South African mercenary from Brighton & Hove Albion has a lot to offer the Purple-White team. In terms of accurate fitting, for example, and that was undoubtedly what Verbeke referred to when he mentioned Tau’s efficiency during the official press release. To be successful match last season was no less than 80% with which he the best flank attacker was at Club Brugge. At Anderlecht, only Nacer Chadli did slightly better with 81%. On a purely footballing level, Tau can raise the level at Anderlecht, and that will undoubtedly please player-inspirator Vincent Kompany.
Due to the high quality of passing, it is quite evident that Tau also caught the eye with his crosses towards the goal. He could ‘only’ vier assists delivery in 958 minutes, but in pure playing time Tau still achieves a high level. With 0.28 assists per 90 minutes No player can match that average at Anderlecht. Also with the number successful crosses for goal, Tau finds almost no equal among his current positional colleagues at Club Brugge and Anderlecht. A success rate of 34% does not seem very high at first, but generally speaking, crosses can easily be intercepted by the defensive opponent. At Club not a single flank attacker could exceed that percentage, at Anderlecht only Chadli did that average.
MORE EFFICIENT AS A FLANGE ATTACKER
After thoroughly examining the qualities of Tau, it can be stated that the characteristics and qualities of the South African better match a role as a flank attacker then as a central striker. This finding is supported by the total number of successful actions that Tau undertook at Club Brugge in these two positions. As central striker he brought 44% of all his actions to a good end, while that if flank attacker whopping 63% was – remember the efficiency that Peter Verbeke talked about during Tau’s announcement.
Nevertheless, Tau can also be used as a central striker at Anderlecht, because Sporting uses a completely different way of playing than Club Brugge. In the Lotto Park, emphasis is placed on efficient passing and maintaining field superiority. With its specific qualities, Tau can play a major and important role in this as a central striker. But goals are expected from a central striker, and as we mentioned earlier, that is not immediately the forte of the South African.
In addition, Tau proved to have an excessive speed and acceleration with an excellent cross and passing. In addition, in his career he was largely used as a flank attacker, rather than a central attacker – just about the opposite of how Philippe Clement used him at Club Brugge. It is up to Francky Vercauteren – and Vincent Kompany – to determine how Tau can offer the most advantage for Anderlecht.
POLL: Will Tau be a direct hit at Anderlecht?