Celina Confident He Can Make it at Manchester City
Thursday, 7th Dec 2017 17:40
Manchester City loanee Bersant Celina hopes his impact at Town will lead to a future with his parent club as he chases his dream to become a Premier League star.
Few players would consider themselves capable of gaining entry to Pep Guardiola’s select squad but Celina does – and not just because he has a foot in the door in the shape of the three-year contract he signed in the summer before joining Town on a season-long loan.
That deal has no clause guaranteeing a future with the top-flight leaders but the fact that Celina has already rubbed shoulders with the City elite in a handful of first-team appearances, together with feedback from the club, means he is confident about his chances of making the breakthrough.
Celina said: “I have been in contact with City every week and sometimes a couple of times a week. I know they are watching and they are really happy for me at the moment. I’m confident that I can have a future there.
“I have not spoken to Pep Guardiola but he has to think about his players, the current squad.
“I am in contact with his staff and I know Manchester City are watching me and supporting me.
“They want me to do well and I know they believe I am good enough to get in their team as well. They have said that to me – definitely, yes.”
Celina trained and played alongside some of the very best players in the world at City and admitted: “It was an amazing experience and I wished it could have continued, but I think I have done the right thing to go out on loan and play games.
“When you look at the City team it is just amazing and it would be hard to get in it – but that’s for the future.
"All of the players were really nice to me – they were all talking to me and trying to help me – but in training I remember David Silva being amazing. Everything he does is just perfect.
“You don’t read stupid stuff in the media about any City players. They are all good professionals and that goes for everyone else at the club as well. But I’m good friends with everyone here at Ipswich as well.
“I go out and do stuff with them and it’s not like I only have a couple of friends. I can go out and eat with every single one of them and have fun.”
Celina added: “I was playing in Norway for Strømsgodset when City saw me. I went there when I was 15 years old and made my way through to the first-team squad.
“It was really difficult for me in the beginning and there were a lot of times when I wanted to go back. But my hard work and dedication kept me going and it got better and better obviously.
“When I first came over my dad came to live with me for six months and then I went into digs. My family came over a lot to see me play and just visit.
"My dad is my biggest fan and has always been there for me. I appreciate it and he still comes over to see me play and help me.
“It was always my dream to play in the Premier League. I used to watch Liverpool a lot – I liked them as a team – but now I support Manchester City as well and hopefully one day I will be playing for them in the Premier League.
“I need to keep working hard and prove to them that I am good enough. I know you have to be some player to get in the City side but if you don’t believe it you are never going to get in there but if you do there’s a chance it will happen.”
Celina’s development was also helped by a loan spell at FC Twente in Holland last season. Asked about the difference between the Dutch and English games, he responded: “It is more physical and more direct here. Individually, I think there are better players in this league and it’s just a better league all round.
“To be honest I expected it to be full of better players, good teams with big names, and it’s not too far away from the Premier League in a lot of ways. It’s better than it was in Holland.”
The 21-year-old winger also believes joining Town has speeded up his progress, adding: “I am a better player after the last few months. Defensively, I don’t think I have ever worked so hard in my life.
“I feel fit and I can do the work – it’s just a mental thing I think. I can cope with English football. I’m a really fit guy and I think if you played me in every single game I’ll be fit enough to play.”
The demands placed on Celina at Town are different, manager Mick McCarthy recently explaining that Manchester City agreed to his loan move because it would enable him to learn more about the game and what it takes to become a successful professional.
He said: “The manager is demanding a lot from me and not just defensively because I think I am doing my job for the team in that area. He is looking for even more offensively when I get the ball, to provide for my team-mates and show how good I am.
“If I’m not doing that, you have seen in some of the games that I have been taken out because I am not doing enough with the ball. It’s now what I’m doing without the ball.
“I just need to try to do my best all the time. Obviously, it was the right way for the manager to do things, and I want to thank the fans for the way they have treated me. I had never before heard supporters singing my name and I really appreciate it.”
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