Pukki party still in full swing at City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City expect Teemu Pukki to spearhead the Championship fightback, despite a close season of fevered transfer speculation over his future.
Pukki appeared to be the target of a concerted social media blitz from fans of Turkish club Besiktas, following reports his advisors had met the Istanbul outfit.
The Finnish international was also touted with potential Premier League interest, while national coach, Markku Kanerva, weighed in advising him to get a move to a ‘top league in Europe’.
That is all background noise as far as the Canaries are concerned, with no offers and no indication from either the striker or his representatives he wants to quit Carrow Road.
City have no interest in cashing in on a player who fired the club to the Championship title.
Back up striker Josip Drmic is likely to move on, however, which means the Canaries aim to add a forward to the attacking mix to compete with Pukki and Adam Idah.
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The 30-year-old endured a difficult second half of the Premier League season but still has two years, plus a further one year option, on the new, improved deal he signed in July 2019.
Pukki’s numbers in green and yellow remain hugely impressive despite a lean spell in the defining part of the failed tilt at survival.
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The Finn has struck 40 league goals in 79 appearances, and it is that strike rate why his head coach, Daniel Farke, believes he can be one of the most feared frontmen again in the second tier.
The City chief is adamant Pukki can rediscover his scoring touch in the Championship.
“He is a key player for us,” he said, questioned at the end of the previous campaign. “He started 32 Premier League games. That says a lot about my trust and belief in him. He finished as the top scorer again.
“The second part of the season was difficult for him because we struggled as a team.
“He is so important for us and his national team and you could feel in this second part of the season he was a bit tired.
“We want him to recover, have a fresh start and I am pretty confident he will be an unbelievably important player for us next season.”
Pukki is scheduled to be back at Colney with the rest of City’s squad next week to begin training, ahead of another gruelling season with a congested domestic campaign leading into the delayed European Championships, and Finland’s first-ever appearance at a major finals.