'It’s difficult, but it’s a nice difficulty' - ex-City man's verdict on Buendia

Emi Buendia is leading the charge for Daniel Farke's Norwich City in the Championship promotion battle

Emi Buendia is leading the charge for Daniel Farke's Norwich City in the Championship promotion battle - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Limited

Daniel Farke will be enjoying managing the Emi Buendia situation this month. 

That’s the verdict of former Norwich City striker Robert Earnshaw, who says the fact the Argentine is being linked with a multi-million pound Premier League move this window means he is doing something right. 

Long may that continue as far as Farke is concerned with Buendia spearheading the club’s charge back to the Premier League. 

“It’s difficult, but it’s a nice difficulty,” said Earnshaw, who is working towards attaining his Uefa Pro Licence. “I had it a lot of that during my playing career where I was being linked away a lot. 

“When you’re doing well and teams are after you it’s because something positive is happening and that’s the case with Buendia. 

“There’s always going to be that interest. It just means he is putting in good performances and that’s what you want. 

“I understand as a player and a coach now that it can be difficult based on personal situations. 

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“Some players need a lot more managing than others. I think so far they’ve managed the situation really well. 

“The number one object is to get into the Premier League and there are some players that deserve to do that again, hopefully with Norwich.” 

Farke accused Buendia of a lack of focus in the last transfer window and dropped him for the Championship clash at Bournemouth as well as Todd Cantwell. 

However, there has been no sign so far this month that a similar situation could unfold despite speculation Arsenal are keen on Buendia. 

“I really enjoy watching Buendia play and technically he’s very sound,” added Earnshaw. “It’s important that Norwich manage to keep him. They are top of the league and they are in the last few months of the season now and you can smell it. 

“When you’re sitting top in January then the end is in sight. I can see why Buendia is doing so well. The style Norwich play fits him and he’s a big factor in them being top. 

“(Teemu) Pukki must really enjoy playing with him up front – I know I certainly would have! 

“He’s added goals into his game as well. He’s improving and there’s a lot more to come.” 

Hugill has point to prove, says Earnshaw

Jordan Hugill shouldn’t be pigeon-holed as a one-dimensional striker according to ex-City striker Robert Earnshaw. 

Hugill was one of the Canaries' big signings in the last window but he has had to play second fiddle to a resurgent Teemu Pukki. Hugill notched in the 2-0 win over Coventry City in the FA Cup but only touched the ball eight times during the tie prompting some to question whether he is the right fit for this Norwich side. 

However, Earnshaw has urged Hugill to remain patient and show there are several facets to him as a striker. 

“I think as a striker people can put you in a box and you only maybe want a certain thing based on your size,” said Earnshaw. “As an attacker you’ve got to be happy playing in that Norwich team. You’ve got to understand how the team plays and how it creates chances. 

“Goals are always going to be scored from different angles, sometimes from crosses, or anticipation or half chances... You've got to read those and that’s what you’re supposed to do in training. 

“He’s (Hugill) got to be patient because he’s got a top player in front of him. What he’s got to do is try and have an impact when he gets his chance.  

“He will be gaining so much from watching Pukki in training every day as well. You have to take in the experience. I learned so much from watching players in front of me. I was always studying how I could make myself better. Once you’re in the squad you have to fight for your place as well as pull your team-mates along.” 

Earnshaw will have a foot in both camps this weekend when Norwich head to Cardiff. The former Wales international scored 27 goals in 47 games for Norwich before Derby exercised a £3.5m buy-out clause whilst he is regarded as one of Cardiff’s greatest ever strikers having plundered 86 goals in 183 appearances for the Bluebirds earlier in his career.  

Earnshaw admits he’d like to see a stalemate between his two former sides. 

“I absolutely loved my time at Norwich,” he said. “Everyone attaches me to Cardiff but I always have the fondest memories of Norwich City and the club.  

“I can’t predict because I really love both clubs. Norwich was one of the most consistent periods of my career. I had good players around me and I love the place. I never wanted to leave but I had a trigger clause and that was taken up. 

“I think Norwich will be favourites because of their form but I’ll go for a draw!” 

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