Bayer Leverkusen Star Tella Regrets Being Dropped From Nigeria’s AFCON Squad

Bayer Leverkusen Star Tella Regrets Being Dropped From Nigeria’s AFCON Squad

Chukwu Ikechukwu
March 1, 2024 at 8:08 AM
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N. Tella
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Super Eagles
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Bayer Leverkusen
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  • Nathan Tella is still pained about missing the Africa Cup of Nations
  • The Bayer Leverkusen star was dropped from Nigeria’s AFCON squad
  • Tella could return to the Nigeria set-up for March international friendlies

Nathan Tella was disappointed to miss the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after getting dropped from the Nigeria squad that went on to win the silver medal at the competition in Ivory Coast.

Prior to the AFCON, the 24-year-old Bayer Leverkusen player was on Jose Peseiro's provisional list, but he was eventually dropped from the Super Eagles' final 25-man roster for the 34th edition of the tournament.

Nathan Tella, Super Eagles, Nigeria, AFCON, Bayer Leverkusen, Bundesliga.
Nathan Tella earned his first Super Eagles call-up in November 2023 under the guidance of Jose Peseiro. Photo by ANP.
Source: Getty Images

According to Soccernet, Tellas has opened up on the pain of being dropped, disclosing he was fully committed to representing Nigeria at the competition before he was axed from the squad.

“In my head, I wanted to play in the African Cup of Nations, and I wasn’t called up. I was quite disappointed, but then, at the same time, I looked at it as an opportunity to play here.”

Tella is expected to be back with the Super Eagles team for the team’s international friendly against El Salvador in March.

Tella now focused on Bundesliga

Meanwhile, Tella is looking forward to playing in his first Rhine derby as Beyer Leverkusen prepares to take on Cologne this weekend as their chase for their first Bundesliga title continues, Complete Sports reports.

Xabi Alonso’s men are eight points ahead of rivals Bayern Munich and will be looking to extend that lead when they take on Timo Schultz’s men at the Rhein-Energie Stadion.

Tella, who joined Bayer Leverkusen last summer, has scored four goals and registered four assists in 14 league outings for Die Werkself this season.

Tella makes history with Leverkusen

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Tella appeared for Bayer Leverkusen at home against Mainz. The hosts won narrowly 2-1, extending their unbeaten streak to a record 33 competitive matches.

Alonso's club is the only one in the German top league not to lose at home this season. Tella came on in the 83rd minute in place of Jeremie Frimpong.

Tella, alongside Super Eagles teammate Victor Boniface, is looking to win Bayer Leverkusen’s first Bundesliga title since the inception of the club.

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Chukwu Ikechukwu
Chukwu Ikechukwu Godwin is a journalist with over 9 years of experience in the Nigerian media industry. He has worked both in Radio (Today FM, Rhythm FM, Wish FM) and Television (Silverbird TV) as a Sports Analyst..