Nathan Tella opens up on first six months at Bayer Leverkusen

 
Nathan Tella of Leverkusen and Head coach, Xabi Alonso of Leverkusen during the Bundesliga match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and VfL Wolfsburg at BayArena on March 10, 2024 in Leverkusen, Germany. 

Former Saint Nathan Tella has opened up on his first six months at Bayer Leverkusen and explained why his limited game time has been of benefit to him.

The 24 year old winger joined the German outfit in August in a £20million move having featured in Southampton's first three Championship fixtures. 

Since switching to the Bundesliga in the summer, Tella has only managed 443 minutes in the league. Most of his game time (545 minutes) has come in the Europa League and DFB Pokal.

Speaking to bundesliga.com, Tella said: "It took me a bit of time to adjust to the team and what is expected of me. 
"Once we got into 2024, I felt like I was finally able to show myself to be more comfortable on and off the pitch. It's going well so far.

"I feel more confident in myself compared to when I first arrived but that's because of the team and the manager.

"They've given me a lot of confidence in myself and I'm doing the right thing so I want to continue to do that.

"It was difficult mentally because I wasn't starting a lot of games in the league. I was just coming on. I understood that because the team was winning.

"I had to be patient and learn the position as well but also just wait for my time. I was able to get minutes against Leipzig in January and I felt like I did well.

"I was able to score and win. Then, playing against Darmstadt as well, I was able to get my first start and two goals."

Bayer Leverkusen are in a solid position to win the Bundesliga this season, which would see them end Bayern Munich's 11-year reign as German champions and mark their first league title win.

Xabi Alonso's side remain unbeaten after 26 league matches, leaving them 10 points clear of Bayern with just eight league fixtures remaining.

They have not lost in any competition this season, meaning Tella could potentially end his first season in Germany by winning a treble. 

Having been a goalscoring force for Burnley last season as they won promotion to the Premier League, the Nigerian international has continued that this season, scoring a goal every 88 minutes on average in the league.

"As a team, everyone wants to play. As players and as individuals we try even harder in training because we want to be the first ones to come on and play well," he added. "We need to make sure we keep the quality high when we come on."

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