Ipswich Town supporters will be hoping for better from their side when the new Championship season gets underway in a few months’ time.
Mick McCarthy’s men recorded three successive top ten finishes in the second tier going into the 2016/17 campaign, yet struggled to reproduce that form and ultimately laboured to 16th place in the table last term, just four points clear of the bottom three.
And that means that the Tractor Boys will be seeking much-needed reinforcements over the summer to make sure that they not only climb the table but also avoid the drop next term, and based on their shortcomings last time out, some attacking flair wouldn’t go amiss.
And that’s why recent news of a deal for Manchester City youngster Bersant Celina would likely have gone down well with the Portman Road faithful.
The 20-year-old midfielder looks set to join the Suffolk-based outfit on a season-long loan from the Etihad Stadium, and there’s little doubt based on his efforts thus far in professional football alongside Ipswich’s issues last term that he will be a great addition to McCarthy’s squad.
The Kosovo international moved to City back in 2012 and then made his first team debut under Manuel Pellegrini four years later, appearing in their FA Cup clash at Norwich and then again against Aston Villa and Chelsea, before grabbing an assist in his only Premier League appearance against Leicester.
However, he showed last term what incredible talent he has got with his first loan spell away from the club at Twente, in which time he netted five goals and laid on five assists for the Dutch side, helping them to seventh in the Eredivisie.
And that sort of return must intrigue Ipswich fans, given Celina is clearly adept going forward in one of Europe’s top leagues, and thus will surely benefit a Tractor Boys squad that seriously struggled for goals last season.
McCarthy’s men bagged just 48 goals in their 46 Championship matches last term, failing to score in 17 of those games, and with none of their strikers netting more than seven, and their top-scorer Tom Lawrence with just nine, it’s clear what is lacking and ultimately preventing Ipswich from climbing the table.
Yet that is where Celina comes in, as he proved to be adept at both scoring goals and assisting them last season, and at crucial times for Twente as well, netting what turned out to be the winner against Vitesse, and the vital last-minute equaliser against PSV Eindhoven.
And with much to prove having yet to make his name in English football, the 20-year-old is exactly the sort of player Ipswich need in their ranks, as he possesses the ability to produce that moment of brilliance that could win or draw a game for the Tractor Boys.
And with 14 goals in just 26 games in Premier League 2, Celina is ready to make the step up to the Championship, and should he replicate his form for the City Under-23s and indeed Twente, he could become an integral member of the Ipswich squad next term.
Ultimately, the £2.13 million-rated midfield sensation (as per Transfermarkt) will be a great addition to McCarthy’s side as they look to significantly improve in next season’s Championship.