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Former Arsenal youngster’s value rockets, could join Granit Xhaka at Leverkusen

Former Arsenal youngster’s value rockets, could join Granit Xhaka at Leverkusen

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  • Bayer Leverkusen shows interest in Southampton’s Nathan Tella, formerly trained at Arsenal.
  • Tella’s recent performances with FC Burnley has significantly increased his market value, posing potential transfer fee challenges.
  • Several Premier League clubs are also eyeing Tella, making the race for his signature even more competitive.

Among those reportedly interested is Granit Xhaka’s new team, Bayer Leverkusen, with the Bundesliga outfit keen to reinforce their squad ahead of the new season.

Background on Nathan Tella

Tella in action against Stoke back in December
BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 16: Arsenal’s Nathan Tella during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at Meadow Park. (Photo by David Price / Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Born near London in Stevenage, Nathan Tella‘s early footballing education took place at Arsenal.

He later made his Premier League debut for Southampton in 2020.

Despite this, his consistency at the highest level remains elusive; with 33 Premier League appearances, he’s managed a modest tally of one goal and two assists.

On the international stage, Tella’s experience is non-existent.

However, a loan spell at England’s second-tier club, FC Burnley, witnessed a notable uptick in his form.

Shooting the club to promotion with 19 goals and five assists in 45 appearances, Tella’s performance has inevitably turned heads.

His market value has soared from a meagre €1.8 million to a staggering €18 million within a year.

Leverkusen’s transfer plans

VELBERT, GERMANY - JULY 21: Granit Xhaka of Leverkusen looks on during the pre-season friendly match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and SC Paderborn at IMS Arena on July 21, 2023 in Velbert, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)
VELBERT, GERMANY – JULY 21: Granit Xhaka of Leverkusen looks on during the pre-season friendly match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and SC Paderborn at IMS Arena on July 21, 2023 in Velbert, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

Bayer Leverkusen’s intentions in the transfer market have been clear according to the German media.

Simon Rolfes, Bayer’s sports managing Director, confirmed that the club’s squad is yet to be finalised.

Following Moussa Diaby’s departure to Aston Villa and the acquisition of Czech shot-stopper Matej Kovar, the focus now shifts to the outfield.

Leverkusen seems poised to secure a left-back as a backup for Alejandro Grimaldo and is keen on Luke Chambers from Liverpool.

But the void left by Diaby in the offensive lineup is where Tella could potentially fit in.

Leverkusen’s aspirations aren’t merely based on Tella’s recent form.

Last season’s experiences, where the squad grappled with personnel shortages, underscored the need for depth, especially given the demands of competing in the league, cup, and Europa League.

The likes of Jonas Hofmann and suspended Amine Adli, among others, are available, but Leverkusen seems to be aiming for more dynamism in their offensive setup.

The potential snag in the deal

While Tella’s recent rise has been meteoric, it also means he won’t come cheap.

Estimates suggest a transfer fee hovering between €15 to €20 million.

Although Leverkusen has a net transfer surplus, the price tag might be a point of contention.

Additionally, Leverkusen isn’t the only club vying for his signature, with several Premier League sides also reportedly in the mix.

Do Arsenal have a sell-on clause?

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - APRIL 10: Nathan Tella of Burnley reacts after Johann Berg Gudmundsson scores the opening goal during the Sky Bet Championship between Burnley and Sheffield United at Turf Moor on April 10, 2023 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
BURNLEY, ENGLAND – APRIL 10: Nathan Tella of Burnley reacts after Johann Berg Gudmundsson scores the opening goal during the Sky Bet Championship between Burnley and Sheffield United at Turf Moor on April 10, 2023 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Arsenal released Tella in 2017, leaving the midfielder ’embarassed’ when he was not offered a new contract.

“I couldn’t believe it, Arsenal was all I knew from the age of 6 when I got scouted,” Tella said earlier this year.

“For me, it was a bit of an embarrassment because I didn’t know how I was going to tell all my friends and family that I was leaving Arsenal.”

Tella then spent three years with Southampton’s youth ranks before getting a deal with the senior team.

As a result, Arsenal will not have a live sell-on clause any more.

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