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Teemu Pukki 

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Norwich Career: 2018-23  (210 appearances, 88 goals)
Current Club: Minnesota United (USA)
Date of Birth: 29/03/1990 (Kotka, Finland)
Nationality: Finnish


Finnish international forward Teemu Pukki joined Norwich on 30th June 2018 on a free transfer. He signed a three year contract.

Pukki began his career as a youth at his hometown club, KTP, playing for their under-19 side. He made his debut for the first team at 16 years old and his performances saw him called up to play for Finland's youth international sides. He made 29 appearances in the Finnish Premier League, scoring twice before moving to Seville in 2008. He made 17 appearances and scored three goals for the Spanish side' reserve team but just once for the first team and so returned to Finland in August 2010, signing for HJK.

He scored 13 goals in 25 games for HJK, playing also in the Champions League and Europa League. After scoring three goals in two games in the Europa League against German side FC Schalke O4, they signed him on 31st August 2011. He would go on to make 37 appearances, scoring eight goals.

He transferred to Celtic on 31st August 2013 to replace Gary Hooper. Howeber he didn't settle and had a disappointing season. He made just 26 appearances before moving to Danish side Brondby on 1st September 2014. He scored 45 goals in 98 games but left after failing to agree a new deal.

Capped by Finland at Under-17, Under-18 and Under-21 level. He made his full Finland debut against Japan on 4th February 2009. At the time of his transfer to Norwich, he had 64 caps and 12 goals (the first coming against Turkey in May 2012)

Pukki made his Norwich debut on the opening day of the 2018/19 season (4th August 2018) away at Birmingham City. The game finished 2-2. Pukki scored his first goal for Norwich in the 4-3 home defeat to West Brom on 11th August 2018. He followed that up with a goal against Stevenage in the League Cup (14th August) and against Preston (22nd August) thus scoring in his first three home games.

On 26th March 2019, Pukki, along with Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis, were named in the Sky Bet Championship Team of the Season. The team was voted on by all 24 managers and head coaches from the Championship, with City having the highest representation in the eleven with three, ahead of Leeds United (2) and Sheffield United (2). Pukki finished the season with 30 goals winning him the Championship Goldern Boot as Norwich won the Championship and promotion to the Premier League. He also won the Barry Butler Player of the Season award.

His goalscoring form continued into the Premier League with Pukki scoring at Anfield against Liverpool on 9th August 2019 before scoring a hat-trick against Newcastle on 17th August 2019; the first Canary to score a top tier hat-trick since Efan Ekku against Everton in September 1993.

Pukki's form in a struggling Norwich side during 201920 saw him linked with a move to Manchester United on 31st January 2020 but this was dismissed by Norwich. United were also linked with Bournemouth's Josh King before signing Odion Ighalo

Pukki finished the 2019/20 season with 11 goals in 38 appearances.

On 25th July 2020 Pukki was linked with a move to Turkish side Besiktas following Norwich's relegation. Turkish sports newspaper, Foto Spor, claimed Pukki has been identified as a potential replacement for Besiktas striker and Turkish international Burak Yilmaz.Foto Spor report the Istanbul club have held exploratory talks with Pukki’s representative, Teemu Turunen. His poor form since the restart of the 2019/20 season which saw him fail to score in any of the games left the Canaries' faithful divided on whether to cash in on a player who had only scored twice since December2019. The situation was not helped by Finland boss Markku Kanerva suggesting that Pukki should move on to progress his career. “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.”

At the end of September 2020 Norwich reported that Wolves, Leeds, Aston Villa, West Brom and Sheffield United had all enquired about Pukki during the summer as well as interest from clubs in Germany and Turkey.

On 29th April 2021 he was voted into the EFL Championship Team of the Season. He scored 26 goals in 42 appearances for Norwich in 2020/21 as Norwich won the Championship title and returned to the Premier League.

On 12th June 2021 Pukki played in Finland's first ever game in a major tournament as they defeated Denmark 2-1 in the European Championships. Unfortunately the game was over-shadowed by Denmark's Christian Eriksson suffering a cardiac arrest.

Pukki's two goals for Finland against Kazakhstan in October 2021 saw him reach 33 goals for his country, surpassing Jari Litmanen's record of 32 goals. Litmanen sent a congratulatory message to his former HJK Helsinki teammate with Pukki saying he was proud to break the record in what was an important victory for Finland.

He scored 11 goals in 41 appearances in 2021/22 as Norwich finished bottom of the Premier League.

Following City's relegation to the Championship in April 2022, the club activated a 12 month option in his contract to keep him at Carrow Road. A few days later, Turkish media outlet, Takvim, claimed Fenerbahce have added Pukki to their summer watch list.

On 5th April 2023 it was confirmed that Pukki would leave Norwich at the end of the season when his contract expires. Pukki admitted it was a tough decision to make due to his affection and history with the club. “This has not been an easy decision because of what Norwich City means and has done for me. I’ve loved my time with this great club, but considering the stage of my career, and I know I have a few more years in me, I’m keen for another new experience. I have some amazing memories from my time here, with so many ups and downs. The two promotions were amazing. These five years have probably been the best of my career, both from a professional and personal perspective. I don’t think anyone believed it would go as well as it has. This club and city will always have a special place in my heart. This club means so much to me. I think back to when I signed here, it was such an easy club to settle in at. I’ve really enjoyed my time here and I will miss the whole club. The people around the place, players and support staff are amazing. I feel I have a special relationship with Norwich and our supporters. I’ve always had a positive feeling from them. I hope I help give them one final gift with a few goals and a positive end to the season."

Sporting director Stuart Webber paid tribute to Pukki and his years of service at Carrow Road, describing him as a 'club legend'. “Teemu has done so much for Norwich City during his five years with us and it is always a sad day when a club legend decides to leave. We’re proud of everything he has achieved. He’s had five amazing years with us, scoring an incredible amount of goals. He has been part of some of the greatest moments that we’ve experienced and will rightly be remembered as a club legend for a long time. He’s been an incredible team-mate and has represented this club with distinction. He knows that he’ll forever be welcome back at both the Lotus Training Centre and Carrow Road. We thank him for everything he has done. We wish him and his family the best of luck with whatever comes next and hope that there are few more magic moments for him in the weeks ahead.”

Pukki's final game for Norwich was against Blackpool on 8th May 2023 which he captained. It was his 210th appearance. Although he didn't score against Blackpool, he had scored 10 goals in 2022/23 to take his tally to 88.

On 31st May 2023 he was linked with a move to Turkish second tier champions Samsunspor. The following day he was linked with Major League Soccer side Minnesota United according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. Minnesota are supposedly prepared to make a lucrative offer to Pukki once their summer window opens on 5th July. Minnesota would be able to register Pukki as a designated player with Luis Amarilla’s exit appearing imminent - meaning there will be a spare slot in their squad. Work is ongoing to also free up an international slot, according to the report. Minnesota are managed by ex-Burnley, Everton and Manchester City man Adrian Heath and have Robin Lod, Pukki's international teammate and someone he tried to convince into English football, within their ranks. Pukki finally signed for Minnesota on 27th June 2023 on a two year deal. Pukki becomes a 'designated player', with the 'Loons' retaining an option that could keep the striker at the club until December 2025. “I feel as though we have gotten that goalscorer we have been craving ever since Christian Ramirez left. He’s a gold standard, proven goalscorer,” said Minnesota head coach and former Everton and Stoke striker Adrian Heath. “If you look at his record he’s scored at a high level at every team he’s played for. His goalscoring record in the Premier League, the Championship and the Finnish national team speaks for itself. He’s a great professional, what you see is what you get, always as a smile on his face, gets his work done and is a great team mate. The fact is, he scores goals and I know that if we continue to create the opportunities we have this season he will no doubt be successful in this league. We are delighted to get him here and get him integrated with the group.” 

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