Arsenal may regret axing Tella as value soars ahead of possible Xhaka reunion
Arsenal: Arteta admits Arsenal could dip back in market after Jurrien Timber injury
Arsenal could be left red-faced before next month’s transfer deadline as Nathan Tella flirts with a move to Bayer Leverkusen. The 24-year-old was axed by the Gunners as a teenager, but could now fetch Southampton a healthy sum if he joins up with Granit Xhaka in the Bundesliga.
Tella was released by Arsenal in 2017 after more than a decade in the youth system. “I couldn’t believe it,” said the talented forward earlier this year. “Arsenal was all I knew from the age of six when I got scouted.”
The Gunners’ failure to recoup a fee for Tella, as well as their reluctance to back him in the professional game, could come back to bite them over the coming weeks as his transfer value has gone through the roof.
A stellar 2022/23 season on loan at Burnley has prompted Leverkusen to table a £15million offer, according to The Telegraph.
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Going through with the move would see him join up with Xhaka, who was patrolling the Arsenal midfield by the time Tella was released as a youngster. It would also hammer it home to the Gunners that they could have banked millions by offering him a senior contract.
Able to play on the wing or as an attacking midfielder, Tella bagged 17 goals in the Championship last term. But Burnley were unable to thrash out a permanent deal and he is currently back in the second-tier with Southampton.
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Such an impressive campaign has alerted clubs across the continent to Tella’s goalscoring ability. Leverkusen are keen to bring him in as a replacement for Aston Villa newcomer Moussa Diaby, although it remains to be seen whether the Saints will be lured to the negotiating table.
Arsenal have spent considerably more on incomings than they have raised in outgoing during the current window. Xhaka’s £21m move to Leverkusen remains by far their biggest sale, with less than two weeks until the deadline.
Fringe players Pablo Mari, Matt Turner and Auston Trusty have also been sold. Marquinhos, meanwhile, has joined Nantes on loan, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles signing for Lyon as a free agent.
Manager Mikel Arteta recently claimed that he does not expect any more significant arrivals, although a devastating ACL injury to Jurrien Timber could force the Gunners back into the market.
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