‘Teemu should move elsewhere’ - Finland boss advises Pukki to move on after City relegation
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Finland boss Markku Kanerva has advice for Teemu Pukki - move away from Norwich City.
The 30-year-old scored 11 goals in the top-flight last season but endured a 13-game drought in the second half of the season - with his last top-flight goal arriving against Tottenham Hotspur in January.
Despite his indifferent form since he suffered a fractured toe against Leicester City in December, his international boss believes the Finn needs to leave Carrow Road in order to progress his career.
“I already said in June he should move elsewhere.
“He is without doubt a major player in a major (top five) league. (He has) 11 goals this season to prove it. He’s scored more than (Alexandre) Lacazette for example,” Kanerva explained to Finnish outlet Ilta Sanomat.
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“As head of the national team, I want our players to play in the toughest leagues possible and to be as fit and healthy. It’s good for the national team.”
Pukki spearheaded Finland’s European Championship’s qualification, with the nation set to compete in Euro 2020 for the first time in their history next summer.
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Reports in Turkey last week claimed Besiktas had held exploratory talks with Pukki’s representatives. Despite that speculation, City boss Daniel Farke wants to retain the Finn’s services as he continues his preparations for next season.
“He is a key player for us,” he said. “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 missed a few chances and the same in this game. The lockdown period was a bit difficult and not many players in world football have played so much in the past 24 months.
“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.
“I always back him and it will be easier for him to score goals perhaps in that level than it has in the Premier League.”
- Thanks to Escape To Suomi on Twitter for translating the quotes from Finnish