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‘New experiences bring out the best in players’ – Southampton’s Tella eyes Nigeria invite

13:19 IST 14/01/2022
Nathan Tella, Southampton
The versatile midfielder stated his desire to represent the West African nation which would help develop his career

Southampton midfielder Nathan Tella is ready to try out a new experience with the Super Eagles on the international scene.

The 22-year-old has made 12 appearances in all competitions for Ralph Hasenhuttl's side, including nine Premier League games and he grabbed a goal and an assist before their elimination from the League Cup.

Tella, born in London Borough of Lambeth to a Nigerian father, has taken teammate Che Adams as an example and he is ready to follow a similar path.

He believes playing for the three-time African champions would make him a more mature player.

“I would love to play international football. That's always been a dream of mine,” Tella told Hamsphire Live.

“If I went away with Nigeria, it would be something new and new experiences bring out the best in players.

“When I look at Che, I see that he has come back from Scotland as a more mature player. There is no reason why I can't do that, come back a more mature person.

"Whatever happens in the future I am just focused on being here and, yes, trying to score goals and help the team win and progress.”

Tella disclosed that he is following the Super Eagles’ games at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and he is also rooting for his teammate Mali’s Moussa Djenepo in Cameroon.

“I’m always keeping an eye on Afcon. I’m Nigerian, so I always want to focus and watch the games,” he continued.

"Obviously, when I have any of my teammates (Moussa Djenepo, Mali) out there, I really want to know how they do.

"I’m happy he won yesterday, despite the ending, but it was good that he was able to win, and I wish him all the best."

Nigeria will continue their Afcon campaign on Saturday with a Group D fixture against Sudan at the Roumde Adjia Stadium.