Teemu Pukki: Norwich City free transfer to Premier League hat-trick hero

If you asked a football fan 12 months ago who Teemu Pukki was, few outside of Norwich would have been able to tell you much.

By this date in 2018, the Canaries were four games into the season, with new arrival Pukki scoring twice (once in the cup). Few expected the Canaries to be competing for promotion later in the campaign.

The Finn striker was a summer signing, with Daniel Farke securing him on a free transfer after leaving Danish side Brondby.

"When I decided I would not be signing a new contract [at Brondby], we started finding other places to go," Pukki told Sky Bet earlier this year.

"There were offers from around the world and my agent called me about Norwich's interest and the first reaction was 'not for me'.

"On my mind it was still really physical long balls from every team, then when I found out how the football really is, I had good talks with the boss and [sporting director] Stuart Webber, so they explained how it would go here, then it started to be really interesting and we made a decision that this is the place.

Teemu Pukki claimed his first Premier League hat-trick in just his second top flight match
Teemu Pukki claimed his first Premier League hat-trick in just his second top flight match

"I've been around many countries and got some nice experience from all of those, so I am really happy I could see different parts of Europe in football and other ways. Me and my family enjoy living here and football-wise everything's been really, really good."

Pukki hit the ground running and kept up the pace for the whole campaign, claiming the Sky Bet Championship Golden Boot as the Canaries won the title and promotion to the Premier League.

In total, he scored 30 goals and assisted 10 in 46 appearances in all competitions - bettering his 19 goals in 44 appearances in the previous season for Brondby.

"I didn't expect to score that amount of goals in the first season," he said.

"It's a really entertaining style of play, there are still some teams who like to play long balls but the most important thing for me is how we play. We are playing football, creating a lot of chances and that's the best thing for a striker to be there when you know they will give you one or two chances every game. You just need to [take] them."

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Check out our Premier League preview package and free tips

Time and again do we see players thrive in the second tier and fail to make the step up and few knew what to expect from Pukki in the Premier League.

It is still early to say, but four goals in his opening two appearances is an impressive return. The first came in an away defeat at Anfield before Pukki netted a hat-trick against Newcastle at Carrow Road.

After that treble, the 29-year-old old the Eastern Daily Press when asked about making the step up to the top-flight: "I think I just need to find the positions that I have been doing and I'm confident that I can keep doing well in the Premier League and we as a team believe we can do it.

"I'm 100 percent sure those guys will keep finding me in the box and hopefully I can keep scoring goals."

Daniel Farke: Norwich boss celebrates their win over Newcastle
Daniel Farke: Norwich boss celebrates their win over Newcastle

On goal targets, Pukki added: "I didn't do it last year. I didn't put any targets on how many goals I wanted to score and I won't do it this season either. I'll just keep doing the job and hopefully I can score a lot of goals."

As much as Pukki's contribution helped last season, Norwich's transformation is largely down to the influence of manager Farke, his staff and Webber.

Farke arrived at the club in 2017 as an unknown coach in England and, after a season of consolidation and adaptation in mid-table, they mounted a surprise title assault.

Preparing for the Premier League this summer, Farke spent less than £2million in the summer transfer window, instead placing his faith in the majority of his promotion winners and Pukki enjoys working under the 42-year-old German.

"It's really nice to go on the pitch every day, especially the game days."

"The pressure is there but that gives you more and I enjoy them. For the whole team, he knows how to bring the best out of the players and it's important to have a coach who trusts you and gives you the time to be yourself."

Watch: Teemu Pukki's hat-trick for Norwich

Norwich 3-1 Newcastle - highlights

Daniel Farke reacts to first Premier League win with Norwich

'We can work some miracles!' - Daniel Farke's post-match interview

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