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Five key players who propelled Norwich back to the Premier League

Five key players who propelled Norwich back to the Premier League
© Reuters
A looks at five players who have been key to the Canaries success.

Norwich have secured an instant return to the Premier League after promotion was confirmed without them kicking a ball.

Swansea and Brentford both failed to win their Saturday lunchtime games, meaning the promotion party could begin ahead of Norwich's evening game against Bournemouth.

Here, the PA news agency looks at five players who have been key to the Canaries' success in the Sky Bet Championship this season under German head coach Daniel Farke.

Emi Buendia

Argentine playmaker Buendia has again lit up the Championship this season, leading the way with 15 assists and also scoring 12 goals.

Speculation over a potential move earlier in the campaign was put behind him, with Buendia key to Norwich's promotion push.

That, though, is unlikely to stop the rumours going into overdrive again during the summer transfer window.

Teemu Pukki

Norwich striker Teemu Pukki celebrates scoring
Teemu Pukki has been back on the Championship goal trail (Nick Potts/PA)

Finland frontman Pukki scored a hat-trick in the 7-0 demolition of Huddersfield to take his tally to 25 league goals as the Canaries closed in on a top-flight return.

After six goals in the opening five Premier League games of 2019/2020, including a treble against Newcastle, Pukki totalled just 11 – the last of which came in late January.

However, the 31-year-old free transfer again proved his worth in the Championship – and will have unfinished business to prove the doubters wrong back in the top flight next term.

Todd Cantwell

Like Buendia, reports of a potential big-money transfer saw midfielder Cantwell unsettled and he was left out of the squad for the game at Bournemouth during September.

Once the speculation had calmed down, Cantwell returned to his top form with a string of eye-catching displays.

Another Norwich player who will be out to deliver in the top flight – and one again set to be the centre of plenty of transfer headlines over the summer.

Oliver Skipp

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Skipp has made the most of an opportunity for regular first-team football on loan at Norwich from Tottenham, with more than 40 league appearances.

Many Norwich fans will have the industrious 20-year-old down as their player of the season after he pretty much covered every blade of grass each week as an integral part of Farke's team.

Whether Spurs boss Jose Mourinho allows Skipp to stay on at Carrow Road and gain more top-flight experience remains to be seen – but the England Under-21 midfielder looks destined for a bright future.

Grant Hanley

Norwich defender Grant Hanley
Canaries' captain Grant Hanley has proven a rock at the heart of the backline (John Walton/PA)

Captain Hanley has been the bedrock of the Norwich defence this season, the Scotland centre-half benefiting from a relatively injury-free campaign.

The 29-year-old formed a strong partnership with Ben Gibson before the on-loan Burnley man recently suffered a season-ending ankle problem.

Hanley struggled in the Premier League last-time out, making only 15 appearances following groin and hernia surgeries during his interrupted campaign, which was eventually curtailed by a hamstring injury ahead of Project Restart.

The Canaries skipper, though, will hope to return battle-hardened for the challenges ahead – when he is likely to be given the run-around all over again.

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Max Aarons in action for Norwich City on July 16, 2020
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