BOSS Ralph Hasenhuttl hailed the attitude of rising Saints star Nathan Tella and insisted: “He really has no fear.”

The talented 21-year-old has kicked on as part of the club’s first-team setup this season, having signed a fresh three-year contract at St Mary’s in the summer.

Tella made his first senior appearance in a Saints shirt at Norwich back in June, coming off the bench in the latter stages at Carrow Road.

He has featured in six out of eight of Hasenhuttl’s matchday squads in the Premier League this season.

The youngster’s first start for Saints came against Brentford in the Carabao Cup this campaign – to go with substitute appearances against Tottenham, Burnley and Chelsea.

Tella was an unused substitute against Newcastle in Saints’ most recent Premier League encounter – less than 24 hours later, he played 86 minutes in Saints’ B team’s impressive 5-2 Premier League 2 win over Manchester City.

Formerly of Arsenal having spent 10 years in the Gunners’ academy, Tella showed his class with a sublime backheel assist for Will Ferry to net against the Citizens.

Asked for his assessment of the exciting forward’s development, Hasenhuttl said: “What I like to see from him is that he really has no fear.

“He is going in and has a very good attitude.

“He runs a lot, is good working against the ball and, with the ball, has speed and the braveness to go deep, to go with the dribbling and this is a good combination.

“In the number 10 position, if you come in, you must have a high workload in that moment. He does it all the time.

“I am sure that he can get better.

“Maybe the final decision making is still getting better but I think he has some qualities that can help us in the future, definitely.”

Tella has also previously recovered from a serious knee injury to make his mark in Saints’ setup. He missed 10 months of football after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament playing for the club’s B team.

But with that now behind him, the Stevenage-born star is looking to kick on.

When signing his new deal in July, Tella told the club website: “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.”