Transfer profile: Bayer Leverkusen signing Nathan Tella

Bayer Leverkusen are being considered one of the sides capable of getting involved in this season’s Bundesliga title race and their excellent summer signings are one reason there is such optimism. The club have now signed what looks to be the final piece of their summer transfer jigsaw with versatile attacker Nathan Tella being signed from Southampton. Here we take a closer look at the latest Werkself acquisition…

The 24-year-old attacking midfielder/ winger has long been seen as having the potential to make it at the top, but has had a roundabout journey to get there. The Bundesliga has excellent experience of signing young English attacking talent in recent years and Leverkusen have tied Tella down to a five-year contract paying the Saints around €20 million.

Tella started out in the youth ranks at Arsenal, but having failed to make the breakthrough, moved to Southampton’s famed academy in 2017. On the south coast he suffered some serious injury setbacks, but fought back and progressed all the way through to the first-team where he made his Premier League debut in February 2021.

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Last season he joined Championship side Burnley on loan and under the guidance of Vincent Kompany he made 39 appearances scoring 17 goals and providing five assists as the Clarets won promotion to the Premier League. He however returned to Southampton at the end of the loan period, where a number of clubs were lining up to sign him. Amongst the suitors were West Ham, Rennes and Burnley, who were keen on keeping him permanently.

However, it was Leverkusen, who secured his signing and they have another exciting, pacey talent on their hands. In terms of style, Tella plays with pace and energy with and against the ball. His sprints are a strength and he’s the sort of player that gets fans off their seats at the outset of his runs. Last season saw him add an end result to his attacking flair with 17 goals and his profile fits in perfectly with what Xabi Alonso is creating at the Bay Arena following the departure of Moussa Diaby.

“We have signed a fast and dangerous winger who already has a bit of experience but still has potential for development,” said Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes at the unveiling. “Nathan gives our offensive additional variability, with his pace and footballing quality he will be an asset to our team.”

The youngster also gave his initial thoughts explaining his anticipation at joining the Rhine club. “Above all, the Leverkusen team is of course the reason for my decision,” says Tella. “This is an impressive team who made it to the semi-finals of the Europa League last season. I really want to continue on this path with Bayer 04.”

About Mathew Burt 1058 Articles
Former writer at and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball