Defender Andi Lila hopes success with KS Besa and the Albanian Under-21 national team will convince a European side to give him a chance to play abroad again.
Having spent time in Greece with Iraklis FC at the start of his career, the 21-year-old is now back in Albania as captain of Kavaje-based Besa. And having been denied a move to join champions KF Tirana this winter, Lila is hoping a more exciting destination awaits him this summer. "I've had few offers from some clubs in Europe, but nothing has happened yet," he told uefa.com. "Maybe during the summer something will be sorted out."
With veteran defender Nevil Dede leaving Tirana for Chinese side Changsha Ginde FC, the champions were quick to target the impressive Lila as his replacement. However, the Albanian Cup holders were equally keen to keep hold of him. Lila said: "I was asked if I wanted to move to Tirana but club president Nexhat Bizhdili declined so there was no move for me." Bizhdili added: "Andi is our captain and will remain with our team for the rest of the season."
Five defeats in their last six league games have seen Besa drop from the top of the table, where they spent much of the autumn, to sixth and they are now ten points adrift of leaders KS Dinamo Tirana. "We started the season very well – we only lost once in the first eleven matches – but none of us can explain what happened next," said Lila. On paper it is simple enough. Romanian Silvio Dumitrescu was replaced by Sulejman Starova midway through the autumn, and results dipped alarmingly.
However, Lila is sure things will improve under the highly-regarded coach: "Starova is one of the best in the country and he has shown that with the results he has achieved with all the teams he has been with, but each coach has their own way playing. We have to adjust to his tactical directions and I am sure everything will be fine."
Lila missed Besa's mid-season training camp after he was called up by new Albania coach Arie Haan to join up with other potential senior team players at a training camp in Turkey. "It was an excellent experience," said Lila, whose performances with the U21s have marked him out as an international star of the future. "His leadership and his unselfish character are highly evident and it's very hard not to respect those virtues," said U21 coach Artan Bushati.
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