Percy Tau has been named in Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane’s 22-man squad to go into a closed camp ahead of their big Caf Champions League Group A clash against Mamelodi Sundowns at Al Salam Stadium in Cairo on Saturday night.
The South African missed the Fifa Club World Cup, where Ahly earned a second successive bronze with a 4-0 win against Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal in the playoff match, with a muscle injury.
Tau was injured in a defeat against Smouha in the new Egyptian League Cup where he was a star in a largely second-string Ahly depleted by their international stars reaching the final of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
The former Brighton and Hove Albion player is in line to play his first match against the team where he made his name, Sundowns.
Tau had been left out of the squad for Ahly’s Premier League clash against Misr Lel Makkasa at Al Salam Stadium on Tuesday night, either because he was not quite match ready, or was kept as a secret weapon against Sundowns.
Ahly warmed up for Downs in ominous fashion in the match at their Al Salam Stadium home ground, dismissing 14th-placed Misr 4-0.
Luis Miquissone, Mosimane’s Mozambican signing who has battled to convince at his new home, scored a brace in the 13th and 15th minutes to set up the victory. The winger is also in the squad to meet Sundowns, whose coaches are sure to have paid close attention to Ahly’s midweek clash.
Sundowns have spent the week in Cairo, having been held to a 0-0 Group A draw at Al Salam Stadium by Sudanese outfit Al-Merrikh on Saturday.
Tau travelled to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates with Ahly for the Club World Cup even though he was not fit to play.
“Before the first game I could see him there in the corner, demotivated, and I said to him, ‘I know you came [to Ahly] for this, to play in the World Cup’,” Mosimane said.
“I was very disappointed he could not play at the World Cup because I know Percy. That’s his space, his opportunity to dance and show the world he could have played at Brighton, and should have been given a chance there.
“But I said to him, ‘OK, help us in the Champions League’.”
Tau’s return is also good news for Bafana Bafana as he will be available for the friendly against world champions France in Paris in the Fifa International window from March 21 to 30.
Ahly’s 22-man squad to meet Sundowns: Mohamed El Shenawy, Ali Lotfy, Moustafa Shobeir, Ramy Rabia, Yasser Ibrahim, Mohamed Abdelmonem, Mahmoud Wahid, Mohamed Hany, Karim Fouad, Ali Maaloul, Hamdy Fathy, Aliou Dieng, Amr El Soulia, Mohamed Magdy “Afsha”, Mohamed Mahmoud, Taher Mohamed Taher, Ahmed Abdelkader, Hussein El Shahat, Percy Tau, Luis Miquissone, Hossam Hassan, Mohamed Sherif