It’s official: Canaries star Pukki is better than Bale, Aguero and Lukaku!
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Seven goals in his last eight games has continued a fantastic 2018 for Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki – putting him on par with some of Europe's top goal-scorers.
The Finland international has scored 24 club goals this year, the same amount as France star Kylian Mbappe has managed for Paris Saint-Germain and Wales forward Gareth Bale has for Real Madrid. It's also more than big Premier League names including Sergio Aguero, Romelu Lukaku and Jamie Vardy.
The Canaries' summer signing hasn't been operating at the same levels, of course, but we decided to find out where the Finn's efforts to date ranked him for the calendar year – for a bit of festive fun.
Few of City's supporters knew much about the former Celtic and Schalke man when his arrival was announced this summer – but they certainly do now.
The 28-year-old's injury-time winner against Bolton on Saturday took his tally to 13 goals in 20 games in all competitions so far this season, four of which have been decisive for league victories.
Yet he arrived in Norfolk on something of a hot streak as well, having scored 11 in 21 games for Brondby during the first half of 2018, as his successful spell in Denmark moved towards a close.
You can also add five international goals from eight games to take Pukki's overall total to a remarkable 29 in 49 matches, for club and country.
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The stat gurus over at Transfermarkt.com keep track of the goal-scorers across the continent in 2018, showing the returns of players representing clubs in the top 10 leagues, both domestically and on the European stage.
The top tiers of Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France are all included, as you'd expect, and are joined by Russia, Portugal, Belgium, Ukraine and Turkey – based on the Uefa country ranking.
We've placed Pukki into that illustrious company, with his stats comparable despite not playing European football this season, and have also included former Norwich striker Lewis Grabban – whose fine form for Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest has him just behind Pukki on 23 goals.
We caught up with City's top scorer earlier this week as he delivered Christmas presents to ill youngsters at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston alongside three of his team-mates and he said: 'Most likely this is the best year I've ever had.
'The last two seasons were really good in Brondby already, I felt good, but I kind of needed to see something else as well and it has been fitting perfectly well here in Norwich!'
The competition isn't over yet either, with Daniel Farke's team still having four games to play before we enter 2019.
Top European scorers
• 1 Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 43 goals in 46 games
• 2 Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Juventus) – 39 in 42
• 3 Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) – 38 in 42
• 4 Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – 34 in 45
• 5 Luis Suarez (Barcelona) – 31 in 47
• 6= Harry Kane (Tottenham) – 30 in 46
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid) – 30 in 50
• 8= Ciro Immobile (Lazio) – 29 in 42
Florian Thauvin (Marseille)– 29 in 44
• 10 Mbaye Diagne (Kasimpasa) – 28 in 33
• 11 Bas Dost (Sporting Lisbon) – 27 in 31
• 12 Neymar (PSG) – 26 in 26
• 13 Edinson Cavani (PSG) – 25 in 37
• 14= Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan) – 24 in 33
Kylian Mbappe (PSG) – 24 in 37
TEEMU PUKKI (NORWICH) – 24 in 41
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) – 24 in 45
• 18= Jonas (Benfica) – 23 in 26
Christian Stuani (Girona) – 23 in 31
Lewis Grabban (Villa and Forest) – 23 in 39
*Players from Europe's top 10 leagues, inc cup games.
(Source: Transfermarkt.com – prior to Thursday night's Europa League games)
Other Premier League players
• Sergio Aguero (Man City) – 22 in 30
• Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) – 22 in 33
• Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – 20 in 45
• Jamie Vardy (Leicester) – 18 in 31
• Romelu Lukaku (Man Utd) – 18 in 41
Other Championship players
• Neal Maupay (Brentford) – 20 in 38
• Jay Rodriguez (West Brom) – 17 in 41
• Billy Sharp (Sheff Utd) – 17 in 35
• Oli McBurnie (Barnsley and Swansea) – 17 in 40
• Lukasz Jutkiewicz (Birmingham) – 15 in 36