‘They cannot under any circumstances sell Teemu Pukki’ – Canaries legend delivers blunt warning
PUBLISHED: 18:01 17 December 2019 | UPDATED: 18:01 17 December 2019
Norwich City legend Chris Sutton has warned the Canaries cannot consider selling Teemu Pukki “under any circumstances” during the upcoming January transfer window.
The 29-year-old's prolific form has continued since last season, scoring 16 goals in 23 games for club and country, firing Finland to their first ever major tournament qualification and finishing as joint fourth top scorer with 10 goals in Euro 2020 qualification to boost his international profile.
The long line of personal accolades continued for Pukki today when he was named in the 100 best male footballers in the world for 2019 by the Guardian newspaper, being ranked 84th, ahead of big names including Philippe Coutinho and Dele Alli - compiled from a voting panel of 239 judges, including top players, coaches and journalists.
The Finn was also named in the official Premier League Team of the Week for the second time this season - which is selected by former England captain Alan Shearer - following his ninth goal of the season during Saturday's deserved 1-1 draw at high-flying Leicester.
Having signed a contract in the summer through until 2022, with the option for a further year, it's thought that City's stable financial situation would almost make Pukki invaluable for the Canaries next month - as they currently sit 19th and will need a much better second half of the campaign to secure survival.
"I can understand Pukki being a target for other clubs, but if Norwich want to stay in the Premier League, they cannot under any circumstances sell Teemu Pukki," Sutton said. "At the end of the season, if worst comes to worst and Norwich went down I'm sure he may have ambitions to move on.
"His career really kick-started at Norwich and he had a great start to the season in terms of goal-scoring and his all-round game has been pretty good."
It's a situation which Sutton knows plenty about, having been sold to Blackburn for £5million in 1994 after scoring 43 goals in 126 games, which was a British record fee at the time, including 25 in the Premier League during the 1993-94 season.
The club slipped to relegation the following season, having sold some of their best players amid financial trouble, but Sutton is hopeful the Canaries can still avoid that fate this season.
"Norwich can stay up," he continued, speaking exclusively to BonusCodeBets.co.uk. "We all have predictions at the start of the season and it's the most difficult decision at this stage of the season to decide whether they do so.
"I know Watford are struggling and have been through two managers which is a complete disaster. They have a chance of staying up, but Norwich are in the mix. It will be extremely interesting come January to see whether Norwich do speculate and bring players in to the team.
"The fact they're bringing in the likes of Lewis, Aarons, Cantwell, and Godfrey. He (Godfrey) has been a revelation and a player I really like. These players will have peaks and troughs throughout the season, but you have to trust what you've got. That would be the way the club will go. They're not going to go and spend £25m on a player."