Why Teemu Pukki would be a smashing signing for Aston Villa
According to the Press Association (h/t Birmingham Live), Aston Villa are among a host of Premier League clubs interested in offering Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki an immediate return to the top-flight this summer.
Newly-promoted clubs Leeds United and West Brom, as well as Wolves and Sheffield United, have also been credited with an interest in the 30-year-old, who scored 11 goals during Norwich’s relegation campaign in the Premier League last season. (Press Association h/t Birmingham Live)
Teemu Pukki made his breakthrough in senior football with KTP in his native Finland before completing a move to Sevilla. However, an unsuccessful stint in Spain paved the way for a return to his homeland with HJK Helsinki, where he rebuilt his reputation with an impressive tally of 18 goals in 34 games.
That was followed by mediocre spells at Schalke in Germany and Celtic in Scotland before Pukki was once again forced to take a step backward and rebuild his career at Brondby in Denmark. The Finland international was snapped up by Norwich City back in the summer of 2018 after scoring an impressive 71 goals in 164 outings for Brondby.
Pukki was an instant hit in the English second-tier and bagged 29 goals and 9 assists in 2018-19 as Daniel Farke’s side ran away with the Championship title. He followed it up with a decent return of 11 goals and 3 assists in 36 appearances in the Premier League last season as the Canaries finished bottom of the table.
Pukki would be the ideal competitor for Watkins up top
Aston Villa forked out a club-record fee to secure the services of Ollie Watkins from Brentford this summer after Wesley Moraes suffered a long-term knee injury in January and Mbwana Samatta failed spectacularly to get to grips with the English game during the latter half of the previous campaign.
Samatta has since secured a loan move to Turkish outfit Fenerbahce, with Dean Smith deciding to part ways with the flop striker. Wesley is not expected to be back in action before the turn of the year, meaning that Watkins and youngster Keinan David remain Villa’s only recognised centre-forwards for the time being.
New signing Bertrand Traore is capable of doing a job as the leader of the line but his best qualities are utilised on the right wing while Davis hasn’t really inspired much confidence with his displays in the top-flight. Plus, the lack of experience in Villa’s forward line could well come back to haunt them, with Traore, Watkins, and Davis sharing only 9 PL starts among them.
To put things into perspective, Aston Villa need another out-and-out centre-forward to provide cover and competition for Watkins and Teemu Pukki fits the bill as an experienced hitman with proven pedigree in the Premier League.
The Finland international hit double figures (11) while playing for the worst attacking side in the PL last season. He certainly looks more than capable of producing better returns if teamed up with better creators.
Pukki’s potential arrival at Villa Park would take the pressure off Watkins, who still needs time to adjust to the demands of playing in the top-flight for the first time in his career. The Villans need two quality players competing for the centre-forward role and it’s easy to see that the 30-year-old’s presence in the ranks would also facilitate effective rotation later on in the campaign.
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Teemu Pukki showed that he is very much a PL quality striker with his exploits at Norwich City last term and Aston Villa completing a move for him before the deadline would add some much-needed quality and experience to their attacking ranks. The Finnish star still has plenty of football left in him at 30, thus making him worth a considerable outlay for the Midlands club in the market.