Nathan Tella is playing the best football of his life with an impressed Burnley boss Vincent Kompany going on to praise the Southampton loanee for giving the English Championship leaders “a bit extra”.
Tella, who has pledged his international future to the Super Eagles, netted a hat-trick in a 3-0 Derby win over Preston North End Saturday for his 14th goal in all competitions this season.
Burnley consolidated top place with their 10th straight win.
Kompany had a lot to say about “raw diamond” Tella.
“He has been doing really well but I would put his effort before anything,” he saluted.
“It is really important to point that out. He has goalscoring ability but I have seen many players with goalscoring ability who aren’t putting in the work for the team and that is just not good enough these days for me. He is able to combine both and that is what has given us a little bit extra.
“I think they key for him is to keep doing what has brought him this far. Don’t change your habits, because if there was something that needed changing we would have told him, and don’t look too much at records or anything. He is doing what he has to do to get goals and he has to believe he can get more if he stays on track.”
The Burnley manager added: “I still call him a ‘raw diamond’, you can see that he’s still progressing.
“For somebody that hasn’t played regular football that’s something that can go on for a while. We just monitor talented players, we monitor his habits, he’s showing an ability to play on the inside and outside, they’re really interesting tools he’s got now.
“When he scores goals I’m happy for him, but I’m happier about his contribution to the team in general.
“If you look at our first phase out of possession, he’s massive in that, if you look at the threat he can have in the first phase when we have the ball, to execute this idea you need that threat. He has all the tools and he helps us in so many ways other than goalscoring.”