Bersant Celina enjoyed a sensational 2014/15 campaign in which he started the season with the u18s but caught the eye of both Patrick Vieira and Manuel Pellegrini.
The versatile forward made the first team bench for City’s FA Cup clash against Sheffield Wednesday in January 2015, and after taking his chance to impress during training with the first team he made his debut against Hamburg in a mid-season friendly that same month.
Comfortable on either wing or further forward, he possesses quick feet, a powerful shot and has scored a variety of wonderful goals in his fledgling City career, scooping the Academy Goal of the Season award in 2013/14.
Celina’s strike rate was consistently excellent at whichever level he was asked to play last term – nine goals in 14 u18 league appearances was matched by four goals in seven UEFA Youth League matches, while he notched a further three strikes in 10 u21 appearances after forcing his way into Patrick Vieira’s competitive EDS squad.
A place in the first team pre-season tour squad to Australia and Vietnam was the reward for the youngster, and he came on as a second half substitute against Adelaide United in the tour’s opening match.
This was followed up by his first team debut in January 2016 when he appeared as a second half substitute against Norwich City in the FA Cup.
After moving to Norway from Kosovo at the age of 2, the playmaker has represented his adopted nation at youth level, but subsequently made footballing history with the land of his birth.
Bersant was the youngest player selected in the senior Kosovo squad for the country’s first ever FIFA-sanctioned friendly in March 2014, and made his first start for the national team against Oman in September 2014 – the country’s first ever officially recognised victory.
Celina signed a new three-year deal with City following a sublime 2016/17 campaign with FC Twente.
He will spend the 2017/18 season on loan at Ipswich Town.