'I wanted to bring Norwich back' - Emi reveals why he stayed at City

Graeme Shinnie of Derby County and Emiliano Buendia of Norwich in action during the Sky Bet Champion

Emi Buendia elected to stay at Norwich City last summer despite speculation linking him with a move elsewhere. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Emi Buendia has revealed his hunger to help Norwich City get back to the Premier League was the primary reason behind why he stayed at the club last summer.

The Argentine midfielder has lit up the Championship this season with a number of sparkling performances, contributing 12 goals and 16 assists in 34 appearances. 

Buendia is regarded by some as the best player in the division, and his goal contributions have helped push the Canaries to the cusp of an instant top-flight return. Victory against Bournemouth on Saturday will confirm their fate. 

In the reverse fixture against the Cherries back in October, Buendia and team mate Todd Cantwell were omitted from the squad due to a lack of focus as speculation surrounding their futures swirled around. 

Buendia is braced for another summer of speculation but reiterates his focus is on securing a top-flight return, revealing that is the league that attracts him the most. 

"Did Covid prevent me from changing team? Maybe yes. We talked about it a lot last summer and I was pleased, it means that I'm doing things well. I could have changed clubs but here I was fine, I wanted to bring Norwich back to the Premier League.

"I don't know what will happen next year, in football never say never but playing in the Premier League attracts me a lot. I follow all European football: even Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga, but I do it for passion, not to think about my next team.

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"The first goal is to be able to celebrate the promotion to the Premier League. The second is to have the opportunity to grow, play at high levels and obviously wear my national team jersey. It is one of my dreams as a child."

Emi Buendia's first-half strike put Norwich City ahead at Deepdale.

The Argentine has been tipped to win City's Player of the Season vote. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Despite the possibility of promotion being confirmed this weekend, City have made their desire to secure the title clear. 

Buendia believes maintaining high standards in the final few fixtures will allow them to carry a degree of momentum heading into the Premier League. 

“The only thing that interests us is to stay ahead of second and above all third in the standings. The locker room is happy, you can sense in the air the possibility of doing something important for everyone," Buendia told Italian outlet gianlucadimarzio.com.

“We want to do well in the last few games to improve on what we have done so far. We regretted what we did last year: we wanted to be saved but we lacked experience in key moments. We gave it our all, but in the Premier League, you can't afford to make mistakes. On the first day this year, I saw in everyone's eyes the desire to get up immediately."

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