Bersant Celina needs ball on the floor to thrive at Ipswich Town, says Frans Thijssen

New Ipswich Town signing Bersant Celina

New Ipswich Town signing Bersant Celina - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town legend Frans Thijssen hopes the Blues will play to new signing Bersant Celina’s strengths, after the Kosovan winger flourished in the Dutch top flight.

The 20-year-old has signed a season-long loan deal at Portman Road, moving from Premier League giants Manchester City, after a successful stint playing for Thijssen’s former club, FC Twente, last term.

Celina scored five goals in 27 games for the Eredivisie side, playing predominantly on the left-wing, just like Tommy Oar – the Australian winger who failed to settle at Portman Road two seasons ago, after joining permanently from fellow Dutch side, FC Utrecht.

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Blues boss Mick McCarthy has been criticised for his team’s style of play over the last couple of years and last season Ipswich finished in their lowest league position for 58 years, 16th in the Championship.

Asked if Celina would take time to the English game, having played in the Netherlands most recently, Thijssen said: “It’s a different sort of football at Twente, where the team like to play the ball out from the back, the same way Ipswich did when Arnold (Muhren) and I were in midfield.

“The style of football (at Ipswich) is a little bit different, you see more long balls and I hope Ipswich don’t have the same problem they did with Tommy Oar.

“He stayed there a short time but he did not fit into the team.


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“He was a small winger that liked the ball playing into his feet, that’s how they get into games, so when a team plays more long balls he does not fit into the system.

“If that is the case the player won’t feel happy in my opinion.”

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Twente escaped relegation to the second tier by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) last summer – the club was suffering financial problems – but were spared the drop after their appeal was upheld.

Thijssen added: “Celina had a good season and he scored five goals, despite all the problems at Twente.

“They were not expected to have a good season but they finished seventh and I am sure he was happy with the style of play at Twente.

“If you bring a player in like that, he needs the ball to his feet, otherwise he won’t have success.”

The Blues play their first pre-season friendly of the summer on Saturday, in the Republic of Ireland, against Drogheda United (2pm kick-off).

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