Football News

Jorginho wary of “complete striker” Pukki ahead of Italy-Finland clash

By CJ Smith

Published: 18:44, 8 September 2019

Jorginho has admitted Italy are wary of the threat of “complete striker” Teemu Pukki ahead of Italy’s Euro 2020 qualifying clash with Finland.

Pukki was the Championship’s top goalscorer last season with 29 strikes, helping Norwich City seal promotion to the Premier League.

Pukki’s remarkable start to 2019/20: Five things to know…

  • Pukki scored 29 league goals last season as Norwich gained promotion.
  • The 29-year-old has already netted five goals in four Premier League games this term.
  • He grabbed a goal and an assist in Norwich’s 3-2 defeat to Chelsea.
  • Chelsea midfielder Jorginho has labelled Pukki as a “complete striker”.
  • Pukki’s Finland take on Jorginho’s Italy in Euro 2020 qualifying on Sunday night.

And the 29-year-old has started the new season in fine style, scoring five goals in four games, including a hat-trick in the Canaries’ 3-1 win over Newcastle United.

Pukki also grabbed a goal and an assist as Norwich lost 3-2 at home to Chelsea in August and it would appear Jorginho learned enough about him in that game to see him as a threat to his nation.

“He is their most important player, but we should keep a close eye on all of them,” the midfielder said. “Finland are not a surprise, as the quality of their players is evident and they work as a team.

“Pukki has a bit of everything, which makes him a complete striker. He times his runs well, is very intelligent in his positioning, runs hard, presses opponents and never stops moving.

“He protects the ball, can provide assists, he really is dangerous. It’s no coincidence that he’s the current Premier League top scorer.”

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Jorginho ‘forced’ to change his game in England

Jorginho endured a tough first season in the Premier League, coming under fire from large sections of the Chelsea fanbase despite helping the club to a top-four finish and the Europa League trophy.

But the 27-year-old insists 2018/19 was positive for him, with the rigours of the Premier League helping him add a new dimension to his game.

“I think I had a fantastic first season and it was fundamental for my growth process,” he added.

“I am stronger in defence now, I go into challenges with more determination and control the game. The Premier League has forced me to develop different skills.”

Italy have won all five of their Euro 2020 qualifying games so far and currently sit top of Group J three points ahead of Finland.