SAINTS youngster Nathan Tella has penned a new three-year deal at the club.

Tella, 20, recently made his first-team debut against Norwich last month, coming on as a late substitute.

He was then on the bench for both the games against Arsenal and Watford.

Speaking about his new deal, which will see him stay at Saints until 2023, Tella said: “It shows all the hard work I’ve done is paying off.

“I know I’ve got more hard work to do, but obviously I’m really, really happy.

“I’m still young and I’m still eligible to play for the Under-23s, but I’ve got my sights set on being with the first team as much as I can.

“It’s a great feeling to know the club have shown faith in me. I want to do as well as I can and hopefully cement my place in the first team in the future.”

Tella joined the club from Arsenal in 2017 having spent 10 years in the Gunners’ youth setup.

The attacker this season bounced back from a long-term knee injury that ruled him out for most of the academy campaign.

Academy director Matt Hale said: “Nathan has really progressed over the last three years since he joined us from Arsenal.

“We haven’t signed too many players at 18 to come into the Academy, but Nathan’s achievements so far prove that players at this age can still develop and maximise their full potential.

“Nathan went through a tough time last year with a long injury, but with our expert medical team and conditioning staff support along with Nathan’s endeavour, he has rightly earned his opportunity with the first team. 

“He is an example to many players who find themselves in adversity. We all look forward to hopefully seeing more first-team opportunities for Nathan before the end of the season.”