Town Confirm Celina Loan Signing
Tuesday, 31st Aug 2021 08:46
Town have confirmed the return of Bersant Celina on a season-long loan from French second division side Dijon, subject to international clearance.
TWTD revealed that the Blues were on the verge of adding the 24-year-old to their squad yesterday morning, having broken the news that Town were chasing the Kosovo international in June. Celina becomes the club's 18th senior addition of the summer.
“Bersant has been here before and his quality in the final third is a given," manager Paul Cook told the club site.
“Bersant’s quality is there for all to see and he doesn’t need a lot of explaining to Ipswich fans from me.
“He’s got really good technique, he’s got great pace and he’s an international footballer. We’re absolutely delighted that he has come back to Ipswich Town Football Club.”
Town CEO, Mark Ashton, added: “We're delighted to finally be able to welcome Bersant back to Portman Road.
“He is a player that we have been pursuing since the beginning of the transfer window. Our supporters will know about the quality that Bersant brings and we cannot wait to see him back in the Town colours very soon.”
Celina, the Blues' 18th senior signing of the summer, is due to join up with the Kosovo squad later this week ahead of their World Cup qualifiers away against Georgia on Friday and at home to Greece on Sunday and Spain a week on Wednesday.
Town had held protracted talks with the forward, who previously spent 2017/18 on loan at Portman Road from Manchester City, scoring eight times in 26 starts and 12 sub appearances, while a number of other clubs, understood to include Championship Hull City and Coventry City, as well as sides in the Dutch top flight, were also keen.
However, a fortnight ago his cardiologist gave the 24-year-old the all-clear to return to training in a few weeks’ time.
The Blues were initially looking at a permanent switch but ultimately a loan switch for the season has been agreed. Dijon have confirmed that the deal doesn't include an option to buy.
Kosovo-born Celina moved to Norway with his family aged two and was a youth player with Strømsgodset before joining Manchester City’s academy in 2012.
In 2016/17 he spent time with FC Twente in the Netherlands on loan, then moved to Town on the same basis the following season.
Celina left City for Swansea in the summer of 2018 for £3 million - having made one senior start and three sub appearances for the Citizens - and went on to make 65 starts and 14 sub appearances for the Swans, scoring 10 times, before being sold to Dijon for a reported £2.7 million in September 2020, signing a four-year contract.
During 2020/21, 5ft 11in tall Celina made 26 starts and seven sub appearances in all competitions for Dijon without finding the net as Les Hiboux were relegated from Ligue 1 having finished bottom.
Capped by Norway at U16, U17 and U21 levels, Celina subsequently switched allegiance to Kosovo for whom he has played U21 and senior games. He has now taken his full caps total to 29, scoring twice.
Celina could be Town's final signing of the transfer window which closes at 11pm this evening, although a further addition - probably a holding midfielder - isn't out of the question.
Armando Dobra's loan to Colchester, which TWTD revealed had been agreed yesterday, will be confirmed at some point today, while the likes of Bailey Clements could also move on on a temporary basis.
Fringe first-teamers such as Kayden Jackson and Tomas Holy could also depart if there is interest with the same the case with outcast left-back Myles Kenlock.
Photo: Matchday Images
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