Nathan Tella closes in on Leverkusen – Can the Super Eagles get him?

Nathan Tella closes in on Leverkusen – Can the Super Eagles get him?
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Nathan Tella, a talented Nigerian player who would fit well into the Super Eagles, is on his way to Bayer Leverkusen.

The Super Eagles need talented players to return it to its glory days. The scouting of players of Nigerian descent is on, with many players on the horizon.

Many players fit into this category and are willing to play for the fatherland. The problem is the will to convince them that playing for the Super Eagles is the right decision.

With the eligibility rules relaxed by FIFA, Nigeria finds itself with a pool of talent that can produce two teams capable of competing with the best in the world.

However, poor administration by the football governing body in the country has ensured that the country lost plenty of talent to more ambitious countries.

nathan tella
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Nathan Tella is not in any of the categories of players to have featured for another country and needs to switch.

He is an English-born Nigerian, yet to feature for the English national team. The mettle of this young man is not in doubt, and he would be a top addition to the arsenal of the Super Eagles.

Nathan Tella to join Bayer Leverkusen in €20m deal

With Bayer Leverkusen set to lose Moussa Diaby, the German Bundesliga side is in the market for a replacement. The lens of the Xabi Alonso-led side has fallen on the Nigerian attacking midfielder/winger – Nathan Tella.

nathan tella
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Leverkusen hoped on the funds from the potential sale of Nadiem Amiri to Leeds United to fund the move for Tella. It fell through, but the German side has managed to iron out a deal that will see to the transfer of the Southampton player this summer.

The fee for the 24-year-old is around €20m with add-ons, and Nathan Tella should undergo a medical soon.

Other reports suggest that the deal for Nathan Tella will include a future sell-on clause for the English club, with the winger to sign a five-year contract.

Nathan Tella will add the much-needed depth to Xabi Alonso’s squad, but the winger is not a prolific scorer.

Can the Super Eagles get him?

Born to Nigerian parents, Nathan Tella has made his mark at Southampton. With the club dropping into the EFL Championship, the winger is keen to return to top-flight football.

Tella needs a top stage to showcase his talent to aid his burgeoning career.

While he is yet to feature for any national team at the senior level, there are calls for Nigeria to snap up the young man.

Can the Super Eagles get him? All the signs say yes, with Tella claiming in past interviews to want to play international football. Tella also said he keeps an eye on the Super Eagles and wants to play for the team.

According to Tella, he admires the Super Eagles and keeps an eye on them. The 24-year-old winger said he watched them at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and hopes to get a call-up someday.

Tella said he has seen the effect international football has on some of his mates and wants some.

NFF, the ball is in your court.

Players of Nigerian descent lost to other countries

bukayo saka nathan tella
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Michael Olise is a talented winger who plays for Crystal Palace. While eligible to play for Nigeria, the young man who has turned out for France at the youth level has, for now, turned down the opportunity.

Olise may have turned the Super Eagles down, but he is not the only one, as some players have played for other countries.

At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Bukayo Ayoyinka Saka (Arsenal/England) turned out for the Three Lions. Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich) and Karim Adeyemi (Borussia Dortmund) switched allegiance to Germany despite being eligible to play for Nigeria.

Noah Arinzechukwu Okafor (RB Salzburg), who has a Nigerian (Igbo) father and a Swiss mother, plays for Switzerland. Manuel Akanji (Man City) also plays for the Swiss, while David Alaba (Real Madrid) plays for Austria.

Ike Dominique Ugbo and Samuel Ayomide Adekugbe feature for Canada, while Folarin Balogun is another Nigerian lost to the United States.

Dele Alli and Ross Barkley also snubbed Nigeria, with Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace) already making one appearance for England.

Other players who are in the pipeline and can still play for Nigeria include – Carney Chukwuemeka (Chelsea), Sam Edozie (Man City) and Noni Madueke (Chelsea).

This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.