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Teemu Pukki ready to continue his dream start to Premier League life with Chelsea up next for Norwich's hitman

After becoming the first player ever to score four goals in his first two Premier League appearances, Norwich's Teemu Pukki has Chelsea in his crosshairs on Saturday.

"A hat-trick in the Premier League is something I couldn't even dream of a couple of years ago,” said Teemu Pukki after his treble saw Norwich to a 3-1 win over Newcastle.

The three strikes, the first a sensational volley, saw Pukki become the first player ever to score four in his first two Premier League matches after a debut goal at Anfield.

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For a player that finished as the Championship’s top scorer on 29 goals (with no penalties) last season it’s been an easy transition from the second tier to the top flight.

But his journey to the top has been far from smooth. As Pukki admitted after the Newcastle victory, a Premier League hat-trick would have seemed the stuff of fantasy less than two years ago.

Rewind to the summer of 2018 and Pukki had just finished a fourth consecutive season with Brondby. The Finn had netted 19 times in 45 appearances as his side clinched the Danish Cup.

It was a solid return but Pukki’s contract was up and there weren’t many attractive offers on the table. And that was perhaps understandable given a glance at his C.V.

Pukki’s professional career began in his homeland with KTP, breaking into the first team as a 16-year-old and winning Finland’s Young Player of the Year award.

He was snapped up by Sevilla two years later but his time in southern Spain was largely spent with the reserve team.

Sevilla’s director of football Monchi insisted things were going to plan but Pukki, who had failed to settle in Andalusia, disagreed. At 20 years old, Pukki wanted regular game time and sought a move back home.

After two years and just one La Liga appearance, Pukki joined Finland’s biggest club HJK Helsinki. He began scoring, netting 16 in 26 games during his first full season at the club including three in two Europa League qualifiers against Schalke.

The Bundesliga side were convinced and paid £1.3million for his services in 2011. Again Pukki misfired in one Europe’s big leagues. In competition with Raul and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, he struggled for game time and netted just four Bundesliga goals in 37 matches.

Celtic, who had just sold forward Gary Hooper to Norwich, offered Pukki salvation. But the forward underestimated Scottish football, later admitting he was surprised by the level of the Premiership and thought it would be “easier than in Germany”.

Pukki would score just seven in 25 Scottish top-flight appearances and departed a year later for Denmark. “Listen, he’s not going to just turn into Superman because he’s got a move to Brondby,” Celtic manager Neil Lennon said, confidently.

Four seasons, 161 appearances and 69 goals later and Pukki’s reputation was back on the up. Yet after failing in Spain, Germany and Scotland, big clubs were unwilling to take a gamble on the 28-year-old when his Brondby deal expired.

He was targeted by Norwich’s sporting director Stuart Webber but Pukki was unconvinced. “My first reaction was ‘not for me’”, he admitted. “On my mind it was still a really physical league with long balls from every team.

“But then I spoke with Daniel Farke and Webber and they explained how it would go here, then it started to be really interesting and we made a decision.”

Pukki’s intuitive, tireless runs were a seamless fit into Farke’s free-flowing approach and his clinical finishing brought instant reward. The Finn netted eight in six matches during a crucial run in Norwich’s promotion charge and finished the campaign with 29 in total as the Canaries won the Championship.

Still, after coming up short in the big leagues time and time again, Pukki could have been forgiven for approaching this campaign with trepidation.

It’s premature to describe this season as a success already but he could have hardly started better. At 29 years old, Pukki arrives an experienced campaigner, finally ready to take his chance.

After defeat to Liverpool and victory over Newcastle, Chelsea visit Carrow Road in Saturday’s Early Kick-Off, live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate. You can find out all the ways to watch the clash right here.

Ordinarily the visit of Chelsea would fill newly-promoted sides with dread. But this season’s Blues arrive in Norfolk with a host of problems.

Frank Lampard’s men, hamstrung by their transfer ban, are still searching for their first win of the season and have conceded seven in their first three matches – including the UEFA Super Cup defeat to Liverpool.

With their best defender Antonio Rudiger struggling for fitness, Chelsea are set to play Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma at centre back once again.

Fresh from giving Newcastle defenders Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar and Paul Dummett the runaround, Pukki will fancy his chances of repeating the trick on Saturday.

If he does he’ll become the second player ever to score five in his opening five Premier League matches after Fulham’s Pavel Pogrebnyak in 2012. The Russian would score just once more in that season.

Pukki will be hopeful of making a much longer-lasting mark on the top flight. Score against Lampard’s men on Saturday and the dream continues.

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