Bayer Leverkusen squared up against fourth division side Alemannia Aachen on Thursday as both sides continued to prepare for the resumption of league football after the international break. While new recruit Nathan Tella would make his first start for Die Werkself, it would be Leverkusen’s 16-year-old wonderkid who stole the headlines.
Naba Mensah, who is currently part of the club’s under-17 setup, impressed in the centre of midfield for Xabi Alonso’s side. The teenager’s display of tough tackling combined with a calmness and intelligence on and off the ball helped prove why he is considered one of the Werkself’s most promising players.
Mensah would even grab Leverkusen’s third goal in a 4-2 victory as he excited those spectating. The 16-year-old was one of eight youth players given a chance by the Spanish head coach, and he certainly did not disappoint.
As for Tella, the winger struggled against a compact Aachen side, who limited the space required for the 24-year-old to dazzle on his debut. While Tella’s performance indicated that he still needs to adjust to the way Alonso wants his side to play, Mensah demonstrated why he may be ready for further opportunities this season.
GGFN | Will Shopland