Young prospect Nathan Tella has revealed that he is open to joining Southampton from Arsenal following a trial at the Premier League club.
The 17-year-old is looking for pastures new after being told last month that he will not be offered a new deal at the Emirates, reports the Daily Star.
The youngster is said to have been looking around various English clubs, including Reading and Norwich City, but it appears that he is leaning towards Southampton.
In Arsenal’s matchday programme for the midweek Champions League last-16 game against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, Tella opened up about his options.
According to the Daily Star, Tella wrote:
“I’m working hard in games and training and have been on trial with Southampton, Reading and Norwich, and all the teams have said that they want me back to have another look with a view to offering me a professional contract.
“I will be at Southampton this week and hopefully they like what they see and I can continue to build my career.”
If a club of Arsenal’s stature are not prepared to keep a young talent, then it may raise a few questions for other clubs.
It is difficult to judge Tella’s quality due to the fact that he has never made a first-team squad nor has he featured in the Gunners’ Under-23s.
This season, though, the forward has made nine appearances for the Under-18 squad and has found the back of the net on one occasion.
One thing that can be said for the Saints’ academy is that they have developed plenty of talented players.
Gareth Bale is one such name who came through the ranks before making a name for himself at Tottenham Hotspur, and is now a Galactico at Real Madrid.
Theo Walcott, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are among the Southampton graduates that have made it at the top level in England.