The Strength of Southampton’s Squad
Even with the departure of key players like James Ward-Prowse and Tino Livramento, Southampton’s Championship-level squad remains formidable. Many of the players who represented them in the Premier League last season are still on board. Additionally, the return of loanees from the 2022-23 season, including Nathan Tella, has bolstered their ranks.
Tella’s Triumphant Return
After a successful loan stint with Championship title-winners Burnley, Nathan Tella made a notable comeback to Southampton. His impact was immediate, marking his presence in the season opener against Sheffield Wednesday. An early shot from Tella was deflected into the net off Adam Armstrong’s head. Under Russell Martin’s guidance, Tella’s potential seems boundless. However, as the September 1 transfer deadline looms, questions arise about his future with the Saints.
Burnley’s Pursuit of Tella
Burnley’s interest in Tella is no secret. Despite their recent attacking acquisitions, the Clarets are eager to secure Tella’s signature. Fans have been vocal about their desire to see Tella back in a Burnley shirt, especially after his impressive performance last season. Even a controversial TikTok video by Alan Pace’s daughter hinted at the club’s interest, though it was later removed. Recent reports suggest that Southampton declined a £9 million offer from Burnley for Tella, holding out for a valuation between £15-20 million.
Contract Talks and New Contenders
While Burnley remains a potential destination, Southampton is keen to retain Tella. Rumours suggest a new contract with a significant pay rise is on the table. However, the plot thickens with Bayer Leverkusen now showing interest. Following the sale of Moussa Diaby to Aston Villa, the Bundesliga club, managed by ex-Liverpool star Xabi Alonso, is on the hunt for a dynamic wide attacker, and Tella fits the bill.
Tella’s Contractual Commitment
In January 2022, Tella committed his future to Southampton, signing a deal until June 2025. With just under two years left on his contract, there’s no immediate pressure for Southampton to sell. However, with multiple clubs showing interest, a bidding war might be on the horizon.