'The fans were one of the biggest reasons' - Celina reveals supporters key to his return
- Credit: ITFC
Bersant Celina says a key motivation for his return to Ipswich Town is his relationship with the club’s supporters.
The 24-year-old is back at Portman Road on a season-long loan, joining from French side Dijon on deadline day as he returns to the club he impressed at during 2017/18.
He enjoyed a good rapport with the Ipswich fans, particularly after scoring a late free-kick winner at Burton Albion in 2017, when supporters had been calling for his introduction from the bench.
And it’s that relationship which played a big part in convincing a player who last season played in the French top flight to drop into the third tier of the English game.
“I was really happy to hear Ipswich were interested and it was always very positive to me,” Celina said.
“Looking at what the club is doing, bringing new players in and what they’re trying to do for the future is very exciting for me. That’s why I’m here – I want to be a part of it.
“The club deserves to be back up (in the Championship) and that’s why I’m here. I’m here to help. I’ll do my best.
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“I had a great time here last time and have a fantastic relationship with the fans. I can’t wait to see them again. It was my second year as a professional in a big stadium and it was very important to me.”
“One of the biggest reasons I’ve come back (is the fans).”
Asked what he can offer the Ipswich squad, having met his new team-mates earlier in the day, Celina said: “I want to help create chances, that’s what I do, and I want to score goals in front of the fans and help the team.
“This is a really good squad and that’s also the reason I’m here because I can help them and they can help me. We’ll be a good match.
“I can’t wait to play at Portman Road again.”
Celina has been a leading transfer target for the Blues all summer, with a move to Portman Road in the works for several weeks but complicated by a heart condition, suffered after the attacker tested positive for Covid.
But the Kosovo international is now recovered, is cleared for training and can’t wait to get started after a difficult couple of months.
“I feel good, I’m happy to be back and I can’t wait to get started,” he said.
“It’s been difficult because before I got the heart condition I was training and I was fine and feeling really positive, then when it happened things were a bit difficult and I had to stop training. It’s been difficult.
“I had tested positive for Covid and then I felt fine, doing the regular ECG heart checks we do and the test came up and it was strange. I did another test and I had an infection in my heart. It was quite a shock for me but it’s gone now and I’m healthy and happy.
“I haven’t put too much pressure on myself and just tried to relax but I’m good now and can’t wait to get started.”