Bersant Celina confident he can make it at Manchester City
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town loanee Bersant Celina is confident he can become a Premier League star with parent club Manchester City.
The 21-year-old has netted seven goals in 18 appearances so far in his season-long loan spell with the Blues, exciting fans with his technique and trickery on the left of a fluid front four.
Breaking into a star-studded City attack which contains the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling looks a monumental task, but the Kosovan international is not short of belief.
“I’ve been in contact with them every week, a couple of times a week,” he said, speaking ahead of Saturday’s Championship game at Middlesbrough.
“I know they are watching me, supporting me and wanting me to do well. I know they believe that I am good enough to get in their team.”
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Celina, who made four first team appearances for City at the start of 2016 before spending last season on loan at Dutch top-flight side FC Twente, continued: “It was amazing training and playing with all those players, obviously I wished it could have continued, but I think I have done the right thing to go out and play games.
“It’s going to be hard to get in there, but that’s for the future. I need to prove to them that I am good enough.
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“I am confident it can happen. If you don’t believe it can happen then you are never going to get in. If you do then there’s a chance.
“That’s my dream, to play in the Premier League.”
After started just two of Town’s opening 13 league fixtures, Celina posted a cryptic tweet on the eve of an away game against Burton saying he couldn’t wait for the new year. It sparked concerns that he may be recalled when the January transfer window opened.
Asked what his favourite moment of the season was so far, he replied: “The QPR goal was good, but the free-kick (89th minute at Burton) is probably my favourite because it was a winner at an important moment.
“The celebration (throwing his shirt into the crowd) was just a lot of frustration and happiness coming out.”
So he was frustrated at that point in time?
“Yeah, of course,” he said. “I think it should bother any player who likes playing football. I’m the type that won’t be happy if I don’t play. I just want to play all the time. Of course I was frustrated.
“Obviously we (him and McCarthy) spoke and it was just about him feeling he can trust me on the pitch. I’ve been working really hard in training, I got my chance and I think I’ve taken it.”
Asked what his relationship was like with McCarthy now, he said: “I think it’s perfect. We talk a lot, we joke. It couldn’t be better.
“Obviously (how he handled me early on) it was the right way. Now that I’m in I have to stay in.
“He’s demanding a lot from me, not just defensively, because I think I am doing my job, now, defensively for the team, but also offensively when I get the ball. He wants me to provide and show people how good I am.
“Some of them games I have been taken out of it’s because I haven’t been doing enough offensively, not because of anything I’m doing without the ball.
“Defensively I have never worked so hard in my life. I’m a really fit guy and if you play me in every single game I think I could do that.”
He continued: “I’m happy here. It’s different from Manchester – it’s better weather! I like it, I’m happy.
“The bond is amazing. I’ve said this before, this is the best team I have been with when it comes to team spirit.
“I have become good friends with everyone. I feel like I can go out and eat dinner with every single one of them and have fun.”
Confirming he is ‘definitely’ staying for the entirety of the season, he added: “I get on really well with Martyn Waghorn. He is a very intelligent player, I think I am an intelligent player as well, and when you have two intelligent players you understand how to play good with each other.
“I think when you look at the whole squad it’s strong.
“I’m just really happy for myself. That’s why I came here, I wanted to show that I can score goals.
“I haven’t set myself a target. Last season I pushed myself too much and it didn’t happen. This season I’m not really thinking about scoring and it’s just happening naturally.
“The fans have been singing my name and I really appreciate it – I just want to thank them.
“I think I can do a lot more. There is more to come.”