Wells targets top-flight goals
Nahki Wells is desperate to open his Premier League goal-scoring account after forcing his way into Burnley’s first-team picture.
The Bermuda striker, who signed for Burnley for £5 million from Huddersfield Town on transfer-deadline day in August, made his long-awaited top-flight debut in a 3-0 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur last month.
“It was a weird one on my debut because I was coming into a game where we were being comfortably beaten against a very good Tottenham side, and against arguably the best striker in Harry Kane,” Wells told The Royal Gazette. “They have some fantastic players. I only happened to get a few minutes, but I was just eager to play some part to sort of solidify myself as a Premier League player. I’ve not really been able to do what I’m capable of because I have been limited. But at the same time it was a proud moment for me knowing that I had conquered the ultimate dream, which is playing at the highest level.”
The former Dandy Town player has since made two more substitute appearances, against Huddersfield and more recently Liverpool.
He says he is gradually adjusting to Burnley’s system.
“I’ve only featured a couple of times and haven’t had too many minutes, and it’s going to take time,” he said.
“It’s a longer process than what I believed it would be and that comes down to different reasons. I have to get my head down and do the work and I believe my chances will come. I was signed for a reason and I’m sure I will repay the club and show why I was signed in the first place.
“The difficulty of coming in injured and having to do my rehab, and trying to break into the team has been difficult.
“But I feel like I’ve got myself really close to the starting XI. I’m sure I can take those opportunities and start playing regularly in the Premier League.
“I’d like to thank everybody back home for the continued support. I know everyone has belief in me and I have the country behind me, so I won’t let the country down.”
Wells is among an exclusive group of players to have played in all four tiers of the English football pyramid.
“It’s a blessing to be able to look back and know I’m one of the few players to have played at every level,” he said. “It’s a remarkable achievement,” he said.
“Now I need to go that step farther and score at every level; that’s something that will come in the near future.
“I’m really proud to know I have climbed the football ladder from League Two and established myself at every level, and I’m looking forward to being able to do it at this level.”
Wells is the first Bermudian to play in the Premier League since Shaun Goater, who scored more than 103 goals in all competitions for Manchester City between 1998 and 2006.
“I am one of the very few and it’s a pleasure to be in that same category as Shaun Goater, who we all know what he’s done in the game,” Wells said. “I look at him as someone who I would like to try to emulate and do as well as. What he did was remarkable, and hopefully at the end of my career I can look back and say I did as well as he did or better.”