It's been a long time coming, but we're on the verge of seeing 26-year-old Percy Tau pull on a Brighton jersey for the first time.
There's been plenty of buzz around the talented Bafana Bafana star whose performances in the Champions League, in particular, have caught the eye.
Brighton boss Graham Potter hasn't been shy to experiment with various formations so far in 2020-21, alternating between a 3-5-2, 3-4-3 and even a hybrid 4-4-2/4-3-3 when the circumstances called for it. So far, however, their good performances haven't been matched by points.
But how will Tau fit into Potter's Seagulls side? When everybody's fit, here are three formation options that Potter may deploy with the creative left-footer Tau in mind.
🔵 Brighton in a 3-4-3
Ryan; Webster, Dunk, Burn; Lamptey, White, Bissouma, March; Tau, Maupay, Trossard
This is probably Tau's favoured role on the right-hand-side of a front three. Tariq Lamptey's forays forward will ensure that Tau can tuck in and pick out passes from a deeper central attacking role with Neal Maupay attacking the central spaces ahead of him.
🔵 Brighton in a 3-5-2
Ryan; White, Dunk, Burn; Lamptey, Bissouma, Alzate, Lallana, March; Tau, Maupay
In a 3-5-2, Tau would have the opportunity of playing just off a sole striker but he faces stiff competition for that role with the creative talents of Leandro Trossard also an option. Neal Maupay is capable of dropping deeper and that affords Potter the option of utilizing Aaron Connolly's pace as the man up top. Tau may have to wait for his chance in such a system. If he can stay fit, the experienced midfield schemer Adam Lallana's technical security would help make the engine tick.
🔵 Brighton in a 4-4-2
Ryan; Lamptey, White, Dunk, March; Tau, Bissouma, Groß, Welbeck; Maupay, Connolly
In a 4-4-2, Danny Welbeck's work ethic and tendency to hug the touchline on the left would be nicely balanced out by Tau's desire to drift infield from the other flank, allowing Tariq Lamptey to do what he does best and bomb forward from right back. Again, Belgian international Trossard may stake a claim for Tau's proposed position in the 4-4-2.
This ultra-attacking system would require that the excellent Yves Bissouma undertakes extra defensive responsibilities with Pascal Groß a much more forward-thinking midfield player. It would also require a huge defensive shift from Tau himself.
🦁 Percy Tau's productivity
Percy Tau has appeared 79 times in the last two-and-a-half seasons and been directly involved in 43 goals (21 goals, 22 assists). On average he has recorded a goal involvement every 130 minutes of playing time.
The step-up in quality from the Jupiter Pro League to the English Premier League is undoubtedly a steep one, but Tau's skill set provides an intriguing set of options for his new manager. There's now increased competition for places on the South Coast at the Amex Stadium, that's for sure.
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