Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke has publicly challenged his winger Emiliano Buendia to improve his goal tally for Norwich in order to fulfil his potential in the Premier League - in a pointed piece of criticism ahead of Sunday's match with Wolves.
23-year-old Buendia has failed to score a goal this season, but currently has seven assists to his name - only Trent Alexander-Arnold (10) and Kevin De Bruyne (16) have registered more so far - and that doesn't seem to be enough for his manager, who spoke to the press on Friday.
Farke said, as quoted by Paddy Davitt: "I am not saying this to accuse him, but it is gameday 26 and he has not scored a goal. He knows that needs to improve.
"He also needs to make more runs beyond the final man. His points per game in the side is the lowest of all our wingers this season.
"He can get to the level of a top, top player at this level but since his recent injury I watch him every day in training and he is not quite 100%, yet like his best periods this season. No one in this room is a bigger fan of Emi than me.
"But he is a young player and sometimes I have to protect them."
#ncfc DF: 'Listen I am not saying this to accuse him but it is gameday 26 and he has not scored a goal. He knows that needs to improve. He also needs to make more runs beyond the final man. His points per game in the side is the lowest of all our wingers this season.'— Paddy Davitt (@paddyjdavitt) February 21, 2020
After missing games against Burnley and Tottenham in January, the Argentine winger has had to settle for a place on the bench in Norwich's last two matches, coming on as a substitute both times.
In 25 Premier League appearances this season, the player has been on the winning team just four times.
Their top scorer Teemu Pukki has bagged 11 league goals so far this season. His three assists alongside that is enough to make him second in assists for Norwich behind Buendia, which highlights their creativity issues.
While 21-year-old Todd Cantwell has proved vital with six goals and two assists, Norwich cannot rely on just two young players to consistently provide goals alongside Pukki if they want to stay in the top-flight.
With just 24 goals scored in the Premier League this season, only Crystal Palace (23) have scored fewer. Norwich desperately need a good result on Sunday afternoon away at Wolves; they sit bottom of the Premier League on 18 points and are currently seven points adrift of safety.
Source : 90min