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Ipswich Town are reportedly attempting to beat new Championship rivals Bolton Wanderers to a season-long loan deal for Manchester City player Bersant Celina.
A full international cap in the budding Kosovo national set-up, the 20-year-old winger was brought up in Norway and represented the nation at youth levels. Having come through the ranks at Stromsgodset, Celina moved to join up with Man City’s excellent academy set-up in 2012, penning a three-year contract back in 2014.
Celina has an excellent grounding in the English game, working with Patrick Vieira at Man City’s academy and playing in their Elite Development Squad. The winger managed to make his first team debut in the FA Cup, 18 months ago against Aston Villa, and is now itching for more first team opportunities.
The young Kosovan spent last season on loan at FC Twente in the Netherlands where he scored 5 goals and assisted 5 in 27 games. His development is coming along nicely and after having had an opportunity to meet Vieira again in Manchester, he might be allowed to leave the club on loan for another season, to help him improve his play.
The £2.1m rated youngster (transfermarkt.co.uk) can play on either wing, or down the middle (behind the striker), and as such is a player who may inject some excitement into the Ipswich Town side. The Tractor Boys are missing the ‘X’ factor these days and Celina, albeit on a short-term basis, would precisely provide what they need.
Keeping hold of Webster is a priority but defensive solidity and the managerial skill of Mick McCarthy are also crucial. In my opinion, Ipswich also need something a little less predictable. Celina has the sort of skill set required to turn Championship defenders inside and out, and could prove to be the missing piece capable of helping Ipswich into the play-off picture, in what looks like a very open league next season.
His loan spell at Twente was really Celina’s first season as a proper first team footballer and he can only get better. Given his age, Man City will still be treating Celina as someone who will improve enough to be a first team player at the Etihad and Ipswich should be ‘piggy-backing’ that. Taking a player who may yet be top class and throwing him into the Championship can go either way. But the chance is worth taking as Celina is a talented young lad.