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.


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“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.

READ MORE: Leeds Unit­ed vs Southamp­ton hand­ed new kick-off time

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.”