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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.

The chances of the move happening looked over when Celina developed the heart infection pericarditis in late July having contracted Covid a month earlier.

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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BlueArrow added 08:48 - Aug 31
Welcome back to The Towen Bersant

NickITFC added 08:48 - Aug 31
Fantastic signing at this level! Welcome back

Fat_Boy_Tim added 08:49 - Aug 31
Oh get in!!!! Superb work to get this done. One of the finest players at Portman Road in the last decade and he's back. Welcome home Bersant. COYB

Europablue added 08:51 - Aug 31
Great work, we can't really fault the recruitment. Ashton has done an excellent job. Probably our best signing of the summer.

bigolconnor added 08:51 - Aug 31
I’m very happy with this. When he was mentioned before pre season I thought that there was no way. What a player. Just a defensive midfielder and a bit of time and so good luck and we will hopefully stride up the table. Welcome

Chris_Knights added 08:53 - Aug 31
Very pleased …. Excellent signing at this level

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 08:53 - Aug 31
To be honest, given his situation, I doubt whether there were many clubs willing to take a gamble or willing to wait for Celina to get back to full fitness, even though some were said to be "keen." This could be a good move for Town in the long-term, but don't expect any miracles in the near future. Still, it shows continuing ambition on our part. We just need to get that midfield enforcer in by 11:00 pm and the business will be complete.

RegencyBlue added 08:54 - Aug 31
Ashton has gone above and beyond on this. Incredible signing for this level!

bigolconnor added 08:54 - Aug 31
Also, out of all the loans, the only one I can’t see is signing permanently is Barry. Unless we get promoted maybe, but realistically that might not happen this season.

BurleysGloryDays added 08:56 - Aug 31
A cherry on the top to a quite brilliant transfer window.

Congratulations to club and owners, that has been a hell of an impressive operation.

Last season watching an inane ITFC performance I looked on thinking, we simply don’t have the required quality in this pitch and we’re mid table league 1 for a reason.

The ownership and new management have transformed our prospects and, even though results aren’t going our way, if there’s any fan that isn’t feeling very excited then you’re following the sport and our team for the wrong reasons.

Results will come!


Bazza8564 added 08:58 - Aug 31
Welcome back fella, cant wait to see you back in blue.

howsey51 added 08:59 - Aug 31
You score 4… we’ll score 5. We are certainly going to be exciting to watch!

BlueRuin69 added 08:59 - Aug 31
Anyone who thinks this isnt an unbelievable signing knows nothing about football, at this level amazing signing. How are we doing it, that pension pot is proving to be mighty big. Coyb. Cannot wait for Bolton game to welcome him back.

Bluearmy_81 added 09:00 - Aug 31
Can't fault the commitment of the owners! More than can be said for the last guy. What was his name again?!! 😂😂

slade1 added 09:04 - Aug 31
All clear to begin training in a few weeks, then a few weeks to get fit.
We wont be seeing him on the pitch for quite a while then.
I'm not saying he's not a good player because he is but reading the comments on here people seem to think he's Messi or Ronaldo.
He is a decent player but time will tell if the gamble pays off.

Karlosfandangal added 09:09 - Aug 31
Celina and Edwards on the wing they will fly up and Down that pitch

Just need a Centre Back and a Defence MIdfilder and the rebuild is complete, there really will be no excuses for not making the play offs at least.

ringwoodblue added 09:11 - Aug 31
Forget Cristiano Ronaldo, this is the big football home coming of the summer.

Welcome back Bersant - get fit and well soon and help us move us this league

bigtimecharlie added 09:13 - Aug 31
Our best signing this season is :
Town CEO, Mark Ashton - FACT -
All the tools have now been given to the Manager ...

timkatieadamitfc added 09:17 - Aug 31
Great signing

bluesman added 09:18 - Aug 31
That’ll sort the defence out won’t it

legoman added 09:25 - Aug 31
Blue 81, his name is Marcus and is the man who saved ITFC from oblivion and set us up with this fantastic re-birth of our club!

blues1 added 09:31 - Aug 31
Slade1. Read the story correctly. Je saw the doctor some.time ago. So has been training. Why else would he have been called up for international duty?

blues1 added 09:33 - Aug 31
Karlosfandangel. Yes we need a defensivexmidfielder. Dont need another cb tho do we. Edmundson should be fit for the next game. And we have enough cover I'm that position.

planetblue_2011 added 09:33 - Aug 31
Brilliant news welcome back Celina👍
If he can’t help us out then no one will

ImAbeliever added 09:37 - Aug 31
Do we need a centre back when we have Burgess, Edmundson, Wolfenden and Nsiala?

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