Benni McCarthy says Percy Tau should have fought for his place at Brighton rather than join Al Ahly.
The 27-year-old former Mamelodi Sundowns attacker made the switch this week, after just a handful of appearances for the Seagulls.
He opted to link up with old boss Pitso Mosimane, with whom he is guaranteed more game time, in the Egyptian Premier League.
McCarthy played in England for several years for Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United, believes that the talented South African could have forced his way into the Brighton team had he stayed.
The AmaZulu boss said on KickOff: "My personal opinion and feeling on this is that it was a move backwards for him. I had seen Percy Tau when I started coaching, when he was still at Sundowns, and I met the boy and I watched him a few games and I think he's a hell of a player.
"He has an incredible mentality, his work ethic is tremendous, he works exceptionally hard, and he's eager to succeed and when you have that kind of mentality, there's no obstacle that can really stand in your way.
"So, the fact that he's taken a step back instead of fighting it out at Brighton against the likes of Neal Maupay, [Leandro] Trossard, Danny Welbeck...
"When you look at the calibre of players he's up against, yes, maybe these are players who are higher on the list in the coaches mind and you see it when the selections come, Maupay is always in the starting lineup.
"But I would rather compete for a place in the side fighting Maupay than competing against the likes of Sergio Aguero, Robert Lewandowski, your Messi's and Ronaldo's, your [Federico] Chiesa's and [Romelu] Lukaku's.
"But if you've got Maupay – and I'm not saying he's a bad player – but Tau is equally as good as him. They're kind of the same height, they're not too far apart in terms of height. Maupay has good aggression to his game and the coach seems to be really fond of him and that's why he's always in the starting lineup but I think Tau is a far better player."