Profile: Bersant Celina
Mick McCarthy talked of Bersant Celina’s “God-given” talent to produce moments which win matches.
“He’s just got that certain je ne sais quoi,” added the then Ipswich Town manager.
In the next breath, McCarthy paid tribute to Celina’s work ethic.
Having a willingness to put in a shift while also being blessed with the ability to change games sounds like a very decent blend, hence Swansea City have worked hard to secure Celina’s services this summer.
The young forward, who can operate out wide or a more central role, impressed in an Ipswich shirt during a season-long loan spell at Portman Road last term
In the previous campaign, he had turned heads during another loan stint, this time with FC Twente.
Celina scored five goals in 27 appearances while in the Dutch Eredivisie, with his form prompting links with the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen.
At Ipswich, he got another 38 first-team games under his belt and found the target on eight occasions.
Celina is a player who is capable of scoring all types of goals, and has built a reputation for producing the spectacular in the final third.
Now aged 21 – he will be 22 in September – Celina arrived in Britain when he joined Manchester City back in 2012.
Celina was born in Kosovo – the country he represents at international level – but grew up in Norway having moved to Scandinavia as a two-year-old.
Manchester City spotted the youngster’s talents while he was playing for Stromsgodset IF and, after initially moving to the Etihad as a scholar, Celina signed a three-year professional deal in 2014.
He was first called into the senior squad by Manuel Pellegrini in December that year, though he did not get any game-time.
Celina’s first-team debut came in January 2016, when he was just 19, in an FA Cup win at Norwich.
A first Premier League appearance followed a month later against Leicester, when he claimed an assist.
Celina also played against Aston Villa in the cup, and his maiden start came in the same competition against Chelsea.
He soon signed a new three-year contract before moving out on loan, first to Twente and then Ipswich.
The last of his goals for the Tractor Boys was a stunner in the 1-0 win over Leeds back in January which offers a glimpse of what he is capable of.
The Swans hope to see much more of the same.