Norwich star Pukki once had Chelsea trial and Farke kept tabs after first seeing him six years ago at Schalke

By | 24th August 2019

TEEMU PUKKI is the first player to score four goals in his opening two Premier League games.

Finnish striker Pukki, 29, helped Norwich to the Championship title last season, scored in the opening day 4-1 defeat at Liverpool and grabbed a hat-trick to demolish Newcastle 3-1 a week ago.

Pukki celebrates with the match ball after scoring a hat-trick against Newcastle
Teemu Pukki has scored 18 goals for Finland
Getty Images

CHARLIE WYETT speaks to the men who have watched his rise.

FLEMMING BERG

FORMER chief scout at Brondby who helped sign Pukki from Celtic — initially on loan — in 2014. Berg, 47, is now head of elite development at the Danish FA.

“WE had one day before the transfer window shut and we needed a striker.

“I had followed Teemu since he was 16 when I was working for Chelsea as an international senior scout.

“I saw him play for Finland Under-17s at a tournament in Portugal, knew I had seen something special and told Chelsea about him.

“Teemu had a week’s trial at Chelsea but maybe it was too early for him. A couple of years later, he went to Sevilla.

“Celtic had paid Schalke a lot of money for him and I knew he had not been playing too much in Scotland.

“I wasn’t sure whether he would come to Denmark as it was a drop down but I knew his agent and, along with our sporting director, we managed to get him here.

“He was a big success but I knew he would be. I’m so happy he is doing so well at Norwich. He is such a nice lad. He is so serious about his football but easy to deal with.

“When we brought him to Brondby, he had a problem because a former Norwich player, Johan Elmander, was playing as a number nine so Teemu was initially playing out on the wing.

“But he still scored goals and he works a lot off the ball.

“His goals to games ratio, and I am including Schalke in this, is actually good and I am sure he will score even more in the Premier League this season.”

MIKAEL FORSSELL

FORMER Chelsea and Finland striker who scored 17 times for Birmingham in the Premier League in 2003-04.

“I’M not worried that Teemu will break my record because I know for sure that it will happen.

Pukki played three seasons at Schalke where he scored eight Bundesliga goals
Mikael Forssell even played for Norwichs opponents today
Action Images – Reuters

Higginbotham: Pukki brings a relentless high press to City

EVERYONE is now looking at Norwich’s Teemu Pukki after his fantastic start to the season.

Four goals in two games is a brilliant return, especially for someone who was forced to remodel his game before arriving at Carrow Road from Danish side Brondby.

He was mainly used as a No 10 or wide player by Daniel Farke initially, until September when he started to get in the goals as main frontman.

Now, he is an absolute nightmare.

Pukki is non-stop, with a lot of chances created by his own work rate getting the wrong side of the centre-backs.

READ HIGGINBOTHAM’S PUKKI VERDICT HERE

“Teemu will score at least 18 goals this season. I said it before the start of the season. I believed in him all the time.

“This is a fantastic thing for the whole of Finnish football. The game in our country has had challenging years but Teemu has shown what hard work can do.

“I hope every young footballer in this country will follow suit.

“It was an awesome accomplishment to score a hat-trick. I was like a fan and shouting at the TV. They were world-class goals.”

NEIL LENNON

CELTIC manager who signed him from Schalke in 2013.

“I WENT to Finland to watch him. He was playing for his country and I flew over to Helsinki with Johan Mjallby, my assistant manager at the time.

“We went straight to the Olympic Stadium and there was nobody there.

“It turned out we’d gone to the wrong city!

“We had to go back to the airport and hop on another flight. We ended up catching him for the last half hour of the game.

“But he showed more than enough in that 30 minutes to convince us to take a punt on him.


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“He did OK at Celtic but was only a young lad then. Now he’s matured into a top striker.

“He’s an exciting Premier League player and I doubt very much that many people would have seen that coming. I’m delighted it’s worked out for Teemu at Norwich.

“But it just goes to show that people often write players off here in Scotland far too quickly.”

DANIEL FARKE

NORWICH boss who signed Pukki on a free. Farke was previously manager of Dortmund II.

“OF course, I remember him from when I was in Germany and he was at Schalke.

“I liked him back then and that was one of the reasons I followed him and we took our chance to sign him. I think the decision was not too bad!

“Even in the early stages of his career in Germany, he had the natural instinct, was ice-cold and could finish in tough situations.

“At Schalke, I also liked his movement. I don’t think he was as focused as he is now but he was clearly a good team player and he had a good attitude.


“I am not surprised he has had such a good start to the season.

“It is a dream for him to have four Premier League goals, although I do not think he will continue with this average — otherwise he will end up scoring 70 goals.”

3 CHEERS FOR TEEMU…

THE Finn has already scored as many Prem hat-tricks as Mark Hughes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Eric Cantona, Dennis Bergkamp, Diego Costa and Jamie Vardy.

This post written by Alex Terrell originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.

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