Norwich City: Astute summer signings leading the way
05 December 2018, 15:27
Norwich City: Astute summer signings leading the way

Championship leaders Norwich City are unbeaten in their last eight league games. Manager Daniel Farke has seen his Canaries rattle off seven wins during their undefeated run to climb into first place.

After an indifferent start the campaign, winning one of their opening six matches, Norwich have been on a tear rising from 17th to first place.

Averaging 1.8 goals a game, Norwich have turned into a scoring machine over their last five matches. They have tallied three or more goals in four of those five fixtures and most recently defeated Rotherham 3-1. Norwich have now scored 35 league goals for a +30-goal difference. Finish forward Teemu Pukki has been relentless in front of goal. He has scored 11 of Norwich’s 35 strikes. Well-travelled Scottish striker Jordan Rhodes has tallied five goals. Their play and Farke’s ability to get the best out of them shows the great scouting that has been done at Carrow Road.

Pukki joined Norwich on a three-year contact in July 2018. Signed on a free transfer after his deal at Bronby expired, Pukki’s addition shows the expert scouting and chance taking teams in the Championship must do. He is the cliched diamond in the rough and is exactly the type of impact player that can lead a team to promotion. Pukki’s 11 goals already ties his second-best career output. It is actually the third time he has tallied 11 goals in a season. Pukki’s previous best was 16 which he scored with Bronby in 2016-17. He is on pace to break that total.

Teammate Rhodes, who joined on loan from fellow Championship team Sheffield Wednesday, is very well travelled at the lower division level. Norwich are his ninth team since turning professional as a teenager in 2007. Rhodes’ most successful campaigns came at Huddersfield Town and Blackburn Rovers from 2009 to 2016. He amassed 156 league goals for both clubs. He hasn’t been able to replicate that form since league Rovers and joining Middlesbrough in 2016. But like Pukki, Rhodes’ timely goals are lifting Norwich and he is once again becoming a key contributor to a team. Amazingly, Rhodes has only played sparingly in recent weeks. The striker is averaging just 46.2 minutes a game.

Norwich’s biggest move ahead of the season may have actually not been a purchase, but a sale. James Maddison moved to Leicester City for £20 million in the summer. The transfer was thought to leave a major creative hole in the team. Yet, it has done the complete opposite. Maddison tallied eight assists last term. However, forward Onel Hernandez has already registered four assists as Norwich fight for Premier League promotion. Norwich scored just 49 goals in 46 games in 2017-18. The club has already scored 35 in 20 matches this season.

Farke has the Canaries singing, but the Championship isn’t even to its halfway point. There is still a lot of football to be played. So far, Norwich’s keen eye for talent is paying off in goals and points.

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