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McKenna: Celina Was of Big Interest
Thursday, 4th Aug 2022 15:44

Town boss Kieran McKenna confirmed Bersant Celina returning to Portman Road was of “big interest” to the Blues over the summer, the Kosovan international having joined Turkish Süper Lig side Kasımpaşa on Monday to end a lengthy transfer saga.

As previously reported the Blues had been in discussions with Celina, 25, for much of the summer about a return to Portman Road for a third spell but ultimately without success.

We understand Town made no new contact after Celina’s move to Kasımpaşa initially broke down a fortnight ago before he returned to Turkey at the start of this week.

The former Manchester City trainee has joined Kasımpaşa on loan for the season with a view to a permanent switch next summer with his Dijon contract running to the summer of 2024.

“Bersant was a player who I really enjoyed working with, and everyone enjoyed having him here, supporters and staff alike,” McKenna said.

“It was something that we explored in the summer and I think the club did everything they possibly could, had a lot of conversations with his club and with the player, and it was something that was of big interest to ourselves and to the player as well, but in the end it wasn't possible.

“That's football. That's the way it goes. You're not always in control of these things as a buying or interested club or as a player.

“So, it's a good move hopefully for Bersant, hopefully he's got some big years left in his career and we wish him all the best, and I'm sure he'll do well there and who knows what will happen in the future.”

Asked whether he is still looking for a player who plays similar roles to Celina, McKenna added: “We’re keeping everything open, the players we have are versatile, the likes of a [Tyreece] John-Jules, who has played three or four different positions, Marcus Harness has played three of four different positions and Conor Chaplin and Sone Aluko have played different positions across the frontline.

“We have versatility there, we have lots of attributes to fit our style but we want to keep adding certain attributes and certain qualities to the team.

“I don’t think it’s impossible that we see further additions in that department but certainly at the moment we feel comfortable with what we have, certainly in those inside forward positions behind a central striker.

“But again, versatility and being able to change how we play is very important and that’s why we’ll continue to be active and look to improve until the end of the window.”

The transfer window closes on September 1st, more than a month after the unusually early start to the season. Does that give McKenna a good chance to assess his squad on where there might be areas to improve?

“I think it’s useful, I don’t think it’s necessarily about looking at the first few games because I’m pretty clear in my head about where we’re strong, what attributes we have and where we could possibly make additions,” he said.

“But it’s useful in terms of it seeming like it’s quite late in the window with the season starting a week earlier, so it does mean that you have five weeks of the season almost and maybe nine games before the window closes.

“It leaves it a little bit longer, it means that you’re protected a little bit if there’s any big injuries, touch wood, in the early part of the season or anywhere where you feel like the plan changes because of things that are out of your control.

“But in general, our plan internally has been pretty clear from the off-season on what attributes and what areas we wanted to add and that’s not going to change in any rush decisions off the back of one or two games.”

McKenna confirmed fans shouldn’t expect any additions before Saturday’s game at Forest Green Rovers: “No, nothing is coming in today or tomorrow.”

Photo: Pagepix

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buzbyblue added 15:47 - Aug 4
Need a striker FFS!

Alex_Mathie added 15:55 - Aug 4
Having versatile players is great but having an proven striker would be nice

ButchersBrokenNose added 15:55 - Aug 4
“But in general, our plan internally has been pretty clear from the off-season on what attributes and what areas we wanted to add and that’s not going to change in any rush decisions off the back of one or two games.”

That tells me he's happy with the squad he has, and that he's not looking for a striker. He's also executed the pre-season he wanted, so there can be no doubt that this is Kieran McKenna's plan for promotion. No excuses this season.

The_Prof added 16:04 - Aug 4
I'm not sure that there's room for another striker in the current set-up, especially if we're only ever going to play with one out-and-out forward with the midfield expected to get forward to supplement the numbers? It's a style of play that relies on overloading the area behind the striker to get dominance in possession, but it also means that a large percentage of attacks have to come from deeper positions, and hence the high number of shots we have from outside the box. If there was a way that that could be integrated with getting the ball into the area around the penalty spot before having an attempt on goal on a more reliable basis then I think we'd be nailed on for promotion, but until that happens I have this horrible feeling that we're going to dominate the statistics without scoring too many goals?

SamWhiteUK added 16:07 - Aug 4
Reading between the lines, admittedly, it sounds to me like if we didn't make contact after the move to Turkey initially broke down, we had made our final offer and left it there on the table for him/Dijon. We weren't going to be held to ransom.

Ipswichbusiness added 16:10 - Aug 4
Translation: we couldn’t/wouldn’t meet his wages and they would.

telpajak added 16:34 - Aug 4
He will be back I’m sure. Unfortunately contract and agents overruled his heart. He gave his home away so wasn’t him being greedy!

Bazza8564 added 16:36 - Aug 4
This absolutely does not rule out another striker, what he says is....

“I don’t think it’s impossible that we see further additions in that department but certainly at the moment we feel comfortable with what we have, certainly in those inside forward positions behind a central striker.

Hes happy with the inside forward position. He doesnt say hes happy with anything else.

Im convinced we will sign another CF. Jackson played his best last season roaming so Im expecting him to be vying with Aluko and JJ to play in rotation with Chappers and Harness. Jackson doent have the strength to play back to goal like Freeddie, so we need another Ladapo. End of. Hirst doesnt even have a squad number at Leicester this season, and there are 27 days left of the window.

Convinced that will still happen!!

Suffolkboy added 16:46 - Aug 4
PROF — it’s an entirely supportable point of view ,especially looking back at previous stats ,and then overlaying the performance this season to date .
For years there’s been no arguing ITFC ought to get more goals from the mid- field , but without great results ! Sadly our present group continue to promise ,but do not deliver so another strike forward has to be on the cards ,alongside flexible frontal formations .
We shall undoubtedly see : watch the space !

BlueRuin69 added 16:56 - Aug 4
'Sadly the present group continue to promise, but do not deliver'.........we've played one game!

BossMan added 17:11 - Aug 4
Someone name me 1 single league game when McKenna didn't play 5221 or prevent some of the arguments, 3 cb's, 2 wing backs, 2 dfm's, 2 number 10's and 1 number 9. Cook was rightly slated for how predictable his 4231 was but not a murmur against McKenna. I'm not interested in the 60th minute subs he made but you can certainly quote 45th minute subs that weren't due to injury and saw us outscore the opposition in the 2nd half. Why not play just Morsy on his own when at home ? Or a back four against a single striker sometimes ? Or 2 wingers instead of 2 number 10s ? If we have such a flexible squad and I believe we do then why are we so rigid, predictable and boring with our formation especially as one of the favoured McKenna sound bits is that he doesn't believe in formations. The goals need to start to flow so if the same formation is going to do that then fantastic be it. Last season too few goals and too many draws. Let's hope we're top after the Sheff Wed fixture and if 8th then please don't embarrass yourself by claiming progress as all that matters when promotion is all that matters. A good start might be to spend Celina budget on an upgrade on Hirst with someone who we can get in next week rather than deadline day.

runningout added 17:16 - Aug 4
bit obvious a few of our squad won’t be getting much of a look-in. Games will be minimal and not sure they are completely content with that. Also if we hold back on the striker situation, falter in front of goal again. It will definitely be our own fault when points are dropped. I realise we seem more sharper now but over time we need to stay ruthless

blueboy1981 added 20:08 - Aug 4
Whether we wanted him or not this season, some fans for, some against Celina - is now irrelevant.
But How and Why is it that our ‘Super New Ipswich’ under New Ownership ‘cannot’ do a deal with a Player, when another Minnow Club can … ???

blueboy1981 added 20:13 - Aug 4
BossMan ….. totally agree with you !

blueboy1981 added 20:18 - Aug 4
We’ll all know if Ashton & McKenna combined know what they ‘are doing’ by May 2023.
That will be the telling point …. !!!
At the moment - mark me down !! - but my Jury is still out …. !!!
But many others seem to have ticked the verdict already as a Positive.
Let’s hope they are RIGHT !!

tempzzzz added 12:49 - Aug 5
blueboy1981 - Looking at their transfers so far this season they are mostly made up of free transfers and loans. Their owner is worth over £1bn! They may be a minnow club but they can afford his wages due to the way they are being run, can't imagine the club makes a profit though! No doubt "doing a Marcus Evans" with the dodgy little tax trickery tactic.

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