Vincent Kompany: Leading scorer Nathan Tella is "getting himself ready" for the Premier League
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The four-time recipient of the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month gong shared his thoughts with the Burnley Express after the Southampton loan star netted his second hat-trick of the season.
Tella scored all three goals in a 3-1 victory over Hull City at the MKM Stadium, emulating his return against Lancashire rivals Preston North End earlier in the year, to push the Clarets another step closer to the top flight.
The 23-year-old, who opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, before adding to his return in the 59th and 73rd minute, took his tally to 17 in the league and 19 in all competitions.
Despite this being the forward's breakthrough campaign, only Middlesbrough's Chuba Akpom (23) and Coventry City forward Viktor Gyökeres (18) have more in the division.
"That's what it does for you when you get that first season of regular playing time," said Kompany. "It's sometimes worth more than playing at a higher level.
"It's always important - and I always say this to young players - to pitch yourself at the level where you're going to play and where you're going to be appreciated for who you are at this moment in time.
"His level now, this season, was the Championship, and he's shown his talent now. He's got to aim towards producing those performances at the highest level, which is the Premier League."
Kompany added: "He's still got a long way to go, but for what he's doing now, he can look back and say that his career has started now. He'll always be able to look back at this season and say 'I can do it'.
"When you score goals you always give yourself a chance anyway and the pace adds to it. You've got to take the right steps and this has been the right one for him and for us and that's always the best situation to get a player on loan. He's still getting himself ready so I hope he's looking forward to the next nine games to see how high he can raise the bar for himself."