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Teemu Pukki: The best free transfer Championship player ever?

Norwich City signed free-agent striker Teemu Pukki from the Danish side Brondby in June 2018. The Finnish international has struck 63 goals in 120 appearances for the Canaries.

Norwich look set for a Premier League return, only a year after they dropped out of the top-flight. However, many Championship defences will be glad that they do not have to face Teemu Pukki again next season.

Pukki’s instinctive and explosive finishing ability being on show club and country throughout the season. Along with his relationship with Emi Buendia, which has been a major factor behind Daniel Farke’s sides success.

Pukki Party in the Championship

The former Celtic player helped fire Norwich to the Championship title in 2018/19 after he scored 29 league goals. His individual contribution was recognised when the Finn won the Golden Boot.

Teemu Pukki adapted to Premier League life quickly and scored five goals in August, including a hat-trick against Newcastle. His personal performances won the Norwich frontman Premier League player of the month. Despite scoring 11 Premier League goals, he failed to score after the resumption of football behind closed doors.

NORWICH, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 12: Teemu Pukki of Norwich City is presented with the Premier League Plyer of the Month Award for August on September 12, 2019 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)

Furthermore, after only registering two goals in his first eight Championship appearances this campaign, his confidence looked low. This naturally led fans and pundits to begin questioning the Finn, especially with new competition from summer signing Jordan Hugill. However, he has continued to silence his doubters, scoring 22 goals in 35 appearances so far this term.

A statistic that means since his arrival in Norfolk, Pukki has the most Championship goals of any player, despite spending a season out of the second-tier.

NORWICH, ENGLAND – MARCH 03: Emi Buendia of Norwich City celebrates with Teemu Pukki after scoring their team’s first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Norwich City and Brentford at Carrow Road on March 03, 2021, in Norwich, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Arguably, the former Sevilla and Schalke forward should in the Championship Team of the Season alongside Brentford striker Ivan Toney.

Euro 2020 Dream

After helping Finland secure a place in Euro 2020, Pukki spoke of his disappointment with its cancellation due to Covid-19. However, he finally gets his chance to lead the line this June when Finland face Denmark in their opening Group B fixture. Finland will also face Belgium and Russia.

Pukki has scored five goals in his last five matches for his country. These goals have helped the man labelled the ‘GOAT’ to move within three goals of Jari Litmanen’s all-time Finnish goal scoring record.

KIEW, UKRAINE – MARCH 28: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Teemu Pukki of Finnland controls the ball during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying match between Ukraine and Finland at NSC Olimpiyskiy on March 28, 2021 in Kiew, Ukraine. (Photo by Stanislav Vedmid/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Therefore, it looks set to be an exciting few months for the 31-year-old. Firstly, a chance to play in the Euro’s and try to become Finland’s all-time top scorer. Before he inevitably has another chance to prove his quality in the Premier League, as Norwich aim to stabilise in the top-flight.

The Championship Crowd Podcast

For previews, reviews, and greater insight into the latest Championship news, then be sure to listen to this week’s Championship Crowd Podcast. It is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and many more platforms. However, if you would prefer to watch it visually, it is obtainable via the WDSportz YouTube channel.

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