Celina back in blue as Town complete loan deal for top summer transfer target
- Credit: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town have completed the signing of Bersant Celina, kicking off transfer deadline day with their 18th deal of the summer.
The Kosovo international joins on a season-long loan from French club Dijon, completing a return to a club where he enjoyed a successful loan spell during the 2017/18 season, scoring eight goals in 28 games.
Celina is a player the Blues have tracked all summer, with CEO Mark Ashton's persistence paying off as he and manager Paul Cook ultimately landed a player who initially appeared well beyond a club playing in the third tier of English football.
The move for Celina was in serious doubt earlier this summer when the attacker was diagnosed with a heart issue linked to Covid-19 but, after a period away from the game during his recovery, the 24-year-old has now been cleared to return to action.
"Bersant has been here before and his quality in the final third is a given," said Blues boss, Paul Cook.
"Bersant’s quality is there for all to see and he doesn’t need a lot of explaining to Ipswich fans from me.
"He’s got really good technique, he’s got great pace and he’s an international footballer. We’re absolutely delighted that he has come back to Ipswich Town Football Club."
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Ashton added: "We're delighted to finally be able to welcome Bersant back to Portman Road.
"He is a player that we have been pursuing since the beginning of the transfer window.
"Our supporters will know about the quality that Bersant brings and we cannot wait to see him back in the Town colours very soon."
Following his loan at Town from Manchester City, Celina joined Swansea City for a fee in the region of £3million, playing two seasons at the Liberty Stadium and scoring 10 goals in 79 games for the Welsh club.
He then moved to Dijon in the French top flight for a similar fee, playing 32 games without scoring as his side were relegated from Ligue 1.
The signings of Celina and Christian Walton take Town's number of loanees up to five (the maximum that can be named in a matchday squad), following on from the previous additions of Louie Barry (Aston Villa), Macauley Bonne (QPR) and Hayden Coulson (MIddlesbrough).
Ipswich Town's summer transfer business
IN (18): Wes Burns (Fleetwood, undisc), Lee Evans (Wigan, free), Rekeem Harper (West Brom, undisc), Macauley Bonne (QPR, loan), Vaclav Hladky (Salford, undisc), Matt Penney (Sheff Weds, free), Joe Pigott (AFC Wimbledon, free), Scott Fraser (MK Dons, undisc), George Edmundson (Rangers, undisc), Conor Chaplin (Barnsley, undisc), Louie Barry (Aston Villa, loan), Sone Aluko (Reading, free), Kyle Edwards (West Brom, free), Hayden Coulson (Middlesbrough, loan), Cameron Burgess (Accrington Stanley, undisc), Tom Carroll (QPR, free), Christian Walton (Brighton, loan), Bersant Celina (loan)
OUT (22): Andre Dozzell (QPR, £1m), Flynn Downes (Swansea City, £1.5m), Luke Chambers (Colchester, free), Gwion Edwards (Wigan, free), Cole Skuse (Colchester, free), James Wilson (Plymouth, free), David Cornell (contract terminated, joined Peterborough), Freddie Sears (Colchester, free), Alan Judge (Colchester, free), Oli Hawkins (Mansfield, undisc), Jack Lankester (Cambridge Utd, undisc), Aaron Drinan (Leyton Orient, undisc), Stephen Ward (Walsall, free), Teddy Bishop (Lincoln, undisc), Harry Wright (Fleetwood, free), Adam Przybek (Wycombe, free), Tyreece Simpson (Swindon, loan), Corrie Ndaba (Salford City, loan), Emyr Huws, Tristan Nydam (both released), Liam Gibbs (Norwich City, undisc), Brett McGavin (King's Lynn, loan).