Rolfes hails Tella 'success story'

Rolfes hails Tella 'success story'
Nathan Tella of Bayer Leverkusen jogs during the training session of the team on the UEFA Open Media Day in Leverkusen, Germany, 15 May 2024. Bayer Leverkusen will face Atalanta in the UEFA Europa League final on 22 May 2024. EPA/CHRISTOPHER NEUNDORF

by Staff Reporter

Saturday May 18, 2024. 15:40

Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes has credited Nathan Tella for not giving up after struggling to break into the first team this season.

The Nigeria international joined Xabi Alonso’s side on a five-year contract from Southampton in August following an impressive loan spell at Burnley, where his 17 goals helped them win promotion back to the Premier League.

However, Tella had to bide his time at the BayArena and made just eight appearances from the bench in the first half of the campaign before being handed his first start against RB Leipzig on January 20.

The 24-year-old winger has gone on to feature regularly in the Bundesliga since then, contributing four goals and four assists in 16 games as Leverkusen cruised to a historic first-ever title.

Rolfes praised Tella for staying ambitious and motivated in trying circumstances, having moved to a foreign country after spending 24 years in England.

“Nathan Tella came late in the transfer window in August and he needed time to adapt. He was always ambitious to develop himself and also to give good energy to the team and towards the team,” Rolfes was quoted as saying by TalkSPORT.

“Now he’s getting much more minutes than at the beginning of the season. That’s also a success story for himself and also for the team.”

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