Plenty of inspiration for City striker’s hopes to keep scoring in the Premier League
PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:50 22 August 2019
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The Premier League goal-scoring charts tend to be dominated by the big names of the football world but there is plenty of inspiration for Teemu Pukki from other surprise success stories.
Norwich City's star striker has launched his name into the football stratosphere with a storming start to his first season in the English top flight, scoring four goals in his opening two games.
While that has placed Pukki as the joint top scorer during the early stages of the campaign, the Canaries and their Finnish striker know there is a long way to go before becoming established in the world's most watched league.
The former Brondby and Celtic striker was an unknown to most City supporters when he pitched up in Norfolk on a free transfer in 2018, so his ruthless hat-trick against Newcastle on Saturday has sent ripples around the country.
Now the focus is on the Canaries players ensuring the flow of chances continues for the 29-year-old Finland star, to boost hopes of Daniel Farke's promoted side staying clear of the relegation scrap.
There are examples of players who have stepped up successfully for Pukki to take added confidence from as well, none more so than Kevin Phillips.
Back in 1999 it was Sunderland who Phillips had fired to title success and promotion, scoring 23 goals despite three months out injured during the season.
He then carried that momentum into the 1999-00 top-flight season and fired his way to a phenomenal 30 goals to claim the Golden Boot and the Uefa Golden Shoe, as the top scorer in Europe.
That is the prime example but there have been plenty of other similar success stories, including Canaries hero Grant Holt.
Fresh from leading Paul Lambert's team to automatic promotion with 21 league goals in the Championship, the tough centre-forward continued his fine form with 15 goals to finish as eighth highest scorer in the Premier League, with City finishing safely in 12th place.
Down the road at Ipswich there is a fine example as well, when Marcus Stewart enjoyed the campaign of his career after the Tractor Boys had been promoted.
Stewart out-scored Thierry Henry and Michael Owen in 2000-01, with his 19 goals firing Town to fifth place in the top tier.
Andy Johnson also finished second in the race for the Golden Boot with a promoted club, in 2004-05, when 21 goals somehow weren't enough to keep Crystal Palace in the Premier League - although 11 were from the penalty spot.
It was a similar story for DJ Campbell in 2010-11, when his 13 goals couldn't prevent Blackpool from slipping straight back to the Championship.
Rickie Lambert's 15 during 2012-13 allowed Southampton to stabilise in the top flight after automatic promotion and brought the former Rochdale striker England recognition.
Charlie Austin's impressive haul of 18 didn't stop QPR from finishing rock bottom in 2015 to sink straight back to the second tier but Odion Ighalo continuing his Championship form with 15 goals helped Watford earn mid-table safety in 2016.
Glenn Murray helped Brighton survive in 2017-18 with 12 goals and Raul Jimenez scored 13 as Wolves impressed last season, although Wanderers were a special case due to their wealth, with the Mexican a club-record £30million signing.
Should Pukki match that 13 then he'll be able to happy with his season as well, but each goal will be more satisfying for Canaries supporters, knowing their star striker was signed for free.
With four goals already in the bag though, and with Daniel Farke's team showing their attacking intent even when they were up against the might of Liverpool, hopes are high that Pukki can maintain his hot streak - and keep surprising Premier League defences.
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