Nigerian attacker Nathan Tella has risked incurring the wrath of Arsenal fans after revealing which of his former clubs he prefers the most.
Tella spent 10 years on Arsenal's books between 2007 and 2017 after which he joined Southampton.
He made his first-team debut for the Saints in 2019 and spent the subsequent three full seasons on the South Coast before joining Burnley on loan last season when he won the Championship title.
His 19 goals in 45 matches across all competitions were crucial to Burnley's title-winning run and it was no surprise that Bayer Leverkusen opted to splash the cash on Tella at the start of the 2023/24 campaign.
Albeit in a less prominent role this time around, Tella has continued to impress since joining Xabi Alonso's men and recently grabbed his first Bundesliga goal in last Sunday's 4-0 demolition of Union Berlin.
Great way to go into the international break. Happy to score my first Bundesliga goal❤️🖤 pic.twitter.com/KP7bwdxLtX
— tella (@NathanTella_11) November 12, 2023
In his recent “Black or Red” interview with Leverkusen TV, Tella was asked to pick between Arsenal and Southampton and the 24-year-old gleefully picked Southampton.
Nathan Tella's preference of Southampton over Arsenal is hardly surprising given his time at St Mary's Stadium
After leaving Arsenal, Tella was on trial at Reading and Norwich City but neither of them were willing to accept him before Southampton opened their hands to the Leverkusen man.
At Southampton, Tella saw his development skyrocket and was afforded the platform to hone his skills on the big stage even amidst a series of injury crises.
Tella's admiration of Southampton was greatly highlighted in his farewell message to the club after completing a move to the Bay Arena last summer.
“After a great seven years at this club, my time here has come to an end. It feels like only yesterday when I first walked into the training ground, not knowing what the future would hold for me. The club took me in at 17 years old and made me feel at home straight away. From my first day, I felt welcomed by everyone.
“I would like to say a massive thank you to all the staff. You have helped me through so much and I will always be grateful. After a major injury, you all gave me the confidence and the belief that I’d get back to my best and be able to live my dream of being a professional footballer.
“And finally a massive thank you to the fans. The love and support I received from all of you will remain in my heart forever. I know my performances haven’t always been great, but you still supported me throughout all of it.
“I wish everyone associated with the club nothing but the best. I’m sure that the club will get to where they belong. Keep the faith and believe. I’ll be watching and supporting you”
Alongside club teammate Victor Boniface, Tella is on international duty with the Super Eagles off the back of his maiden call-up.
— 🇳🇬 Super Eagles (@NGSuperEagles) November 14, 2023
He will be keen to make his debut in Nigeria's opening World Cup qualifier against Lesotho later today.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 weeks ago