In the summer of 2009, news circulated of Sevilla signing an 18-year old striker from Finland, a fresh faced kid with flowing long hair called Teemu Pukki, for whom they had very high hopes of becoming the next big thing.
It never did happen though as Pukki found out the hard way that breaking into Sevilla’s first team was much more difficult than he anticipated.
He made just a single appearance in his two years at Andalusia, a failure that hit him so hard that he promised to return to La Liga later on in his career and make amends.
Schalke were the next mainstream club to gamble on Pukki after he scored 3 goals against them for HJK Helsinki in an Europa league qualifying game.
Pukki was so impressive that Schalke’s general manager, Horst Heldt, personally invited him over for a trial after which he was signed for a fee of around €1m.
It would eventually prove to be a case of right place at the wrong time as Pukki found playing opportunities few and far between, but he did deliver whenever he was called upon.
He started just five games in his first season at Schalke and he scored four goals but ahead of him in the pecking order were two top strikers in Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Real Madrid legend, Raul Gonzalez.
In the summer of 2013, Pukki was signed by Scottish giants, Celtic for more than double what Schalke had paid Helsinki in a move that was described as his big break.
The striker however failed to live up to expectations with just 7 goals in 26 appearances and his Celtic career ended after just a year into his four year contract.
He moved to Danish side, Brondby and that is where the stars finally began to allign in his favor as he finally started showing glimpses of his potential and for the first time outside Finland, he was considered the main striker.
55 goals in 130 appearances between 2014 and 2018 in Denmark attracted him some great offers after the expiration of his contract but according Pukki himself, choosing Norwich city was a decision solely influenced by his wife.
So far, it looks like the best career choice he’s ever made, as his 29 goals helped propel Norwich from the English championship to the Premier league and while many had doubts about his ability to perform in the best league in the world, Pukki has proven them all wrong so far.
Five goals in his first four premier league games which included a goal each against Liverpool and Chelsea, and a hat trick at Carrow road against Newcastle, the first by any Norwich player since Efan Ekoku against Everton all those years ago.
Pukki also recently beat the likes of Aguero, Sterling, De Bruyne and co to win the premier league player of the month award for August, the icing on an overall fabulous cake.