Farke’s Buendia hopes after career high

Emi Buendia savours his first Premier League goal of his career in Norwich City's 2-1 defeat to Watf

Emi Buendia savours his first Premier League goal of his career in Norwich City's 2-1 defeat to Watford Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Emi Buendia is good enough to stay on the Premier League goal trail, insists Daniel Farke, after his landmark career strike at Watford.

The Argentine ace notched his first goal of the campaign in the 2-1 defeat at Watford, following a testing top-flight season when Farke publicly challenged him to add that cutting edge to his repertoire.

Buendia’s first goal in City colours since April 2019 was a long time coming for his head coach.

“Good he is off the mark, a bit late if we are honest in terms of the season, but he has deserved that,” said Farke. “A good finish, also a good assist from Onel Hernandez.

“Emi has had his own difficult periods during the season, the same as the team, but you have to keep in mind we brought this young man from the second tier in Spain.

“He was not the finished article. If he was on the top level back then the top clubs in Spain would have signed him. Thankfully he chose us and we are developing him.

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“He was fantastic last season and now he finds himself on a different level. I believe he has realised he must play with a lot more discipline, be a team player, and try to think about the team.

“If you do this, and I feel we have seen this more and more in the last games, then you will get the benefits. He got his reward.”

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Farke demanded Buendia improve his goal output, after the 23-year-old’s assists tally had drawn favourable comparisons with the likes of Manchester City talisman Kevin de Bruyne.

But the City head coach reiterated in recent days his firm belief honesty is the only way to extract the best from his squad.

“I didn’t like it when I was a player and the coach would try to play psychological games and tell us we had played well when we had not. I didn’t believe in that and I won’t do that as a coach,” he said. “I always try to give a realistic view. The results we cannot guarantee, but the performance you can control.

“Of course, luck then comes into play, or the injuries. The most important thing for me is to be honest with them.

“You have to be careful and not take one statistic and say this is proof he is the best player in the world.

“I love Emi’s capability to provide assists and key passes, and hopefully one day he will be on the level of (Lionel) Messi, but like James Maddison or any of the other younger players who are here now he has to work and he has to improve.”

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