City boss in the market for another 'Buendia-style' creative spark

Emi Buendia and Teemu Pukki formed a potent double act for Norwich City before his move to Aston Villa

Emi Buendia and Teemu Pukki formed a potent double act for Norwich City before his move to Aston Villa - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Dean Smith will zero in on a summer transfer quest to plug the creative hole left by Emi Buendia’s departure, as a key part of his Norwich City squad refresh. 

Smith plucked Buendia from the Canaries 12 months ago when in charge of Aston Villa for a reported £33m, after the Argentine had dazzled in another Championship title win. 

The Norwich head coach has made it clear already he is not in the market for ‘wholesale changes’ but addressing City’s lack of guile in that part of the pitch during the latest Premier League relegation failure is a priority. 

The Canaries were recently linked with Coventry's attacking midfielder Callum O'Hare, although those reports are wide of the mark.

“I feel that we've got bodies here that can score goals. Creating them is certainly an area where we need to bring in people, because you know as a football club last time we got promoted we've lost the likes of Buendia from that team,” said Smith, speaking at Colney on Friday ahead of the weekend trip to Wolves. “We have got some options in the wide areas, but they've not produced enough good numbers.

"They know that there's not enough assists or enough goals from them in those areas. And that's something that we need to improve on. We're working with those players. But again in those pockets behind a striker is an area we need to get players in, to be able to go and create opportunities as well. 

“We've got Adam Idah coming back from injury. We've got Josh Sargent coming back from injury. At times they've played in wider areas.

"When we played a two up front we showed that we can be a threat, both with Adam and Teemu (Pukki) together, and I feel that they can help support Teemu for next season when we go into Championship; where the levels aren't as high as they are in this league. Certainly in terms of defensively, when you talk about the opposition.”