Bayer Leverkusen’s managing director of sport, Simon Rolfes, and the head coach, Xabi Alonso have heaped praises on Nigerian winger Nathan Tella in their Tuesday pre-match conference for their game against Vfb Stuttgart.
The 24-year-old Nigerian scored a brace against SV Darmstadt in the Bundesliga on Saturday taking his tally to five goals this season.
Tella made a rare start for Bayer Leverkusen against Darmstadt on Saturday, playing at right wing-back in place of regular starter, Jeremie Frimpong, who was rested for the away game in Darmstadt, Germany.
The Nigeria international made the most of his opportunity, scoring a brace to lead Leverkusen to a 2-0 win.
Speaking to Kicker, Bayer Leverkusen managing director for sport Rolfes said Tella’s performance was an expression of his development over the last few months.
“He’s an excellent guy, works very hard, gets more confident every week, feels more comfortable, learns new things,” Rolfes said.
“Nathan is a very important player for the team, he always works hard in training.”
Leverkusen coach Alonso echoed similar sentiments, also praising the Nigeria international, who was signed from Southampton last summer for a reported fee of £20m.
“Nathan played very, very well,” the Spaniard said.
“It was normal that he needed time to adapt to the Bundesliga and a new club. But he always has a great attitude, good energy and is always positive. Now he’s always there when we need him. He has more clarity now about what we want.”
Tella, who was born in England to Nigerian parents, made his debut for the Super Eagles in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Warriors of Zimbabwe in November 2023.