What does Pukki injury mean for City's transfer plans?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Teemu Pukki’s ankle injury will not force Norwich City’s hand in the summer transfer market.
Pukki has a battle to be fit for Finland’s historic bow at the European Championships, after being ruled out of Saturday’s Championship title party at Barnsley.
The prolific frontman aims to fulfil a lifetime’s ambition by leading his country at their first major finals, but Daniel Farke’s priority is City’s Premier League return.
“It doesn't change our plans too much,” he said. “It's always our responsibility to look not just at one area of the team but the entire squad. We know the risks if they play such an intense tournament, and we have to be able to react to injury in the short term.
"I want to go with the strongest possible starting line up in the Premier League. From the selfish point of view it is a concern when players go away with their countries. Whether they have an injury before or during. We had this with Adam Idah.
"He went away with Ireland, got injured, and was out for three months. There's always a little bit of fear, but this can happen at training or a freak accident at home. It's great that these lads are picked to represent their countries.”
Farke accepts missing the Euros would be a devastating personal blow for Pukki.
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“It's a bit too early to judge the situation,” he said. “Now, of course, from a selfish point of view, from the club point of view, I might say it would not be the worst if Teemu got some rest. We wouldn't have to rush the rehab. But it his lifelong dream.
"He has done so much for this club we of course support his wish to try everything. We have started his rehab processes here and then in a few weeks we will know if it is possible or not. I would say I am carefully optimistic for him because he is a quite quick healer.
“Our fingers are crossed for him. No other striker probably in Western Europe has had more games in the last three years. We hope everything goes well with the rehab so that he's ready for the Euros.”
The 31-year-old has been a revelation since his free transfer switch in 2018. City will be active in this summer window but the core principles remain the same.
“Quality is not just a football quality, but also the quality in terms of character and personality,” said Farke. “We are always unbelievably careful to choose the right person and not just investigate the football skills, but also the character skills.
"It’s never a complete guarantee but we need a personality who fits with this group and our fans.”