Norwich manager Daniel Farke insisted Emi Buendia would be staying at the club in the January transfer window after watching him produce a brilliant winner to see off Barnsley 1-0 at Carrow Road.
The Argentine playmaker settled the game in memorable fashion just past the hour mark when he volleyed home a deep lofted pass from Kenny McLean, with his sublime first touch leaving goalkeeper Jack Walton with no chance.
It was Buendia’s seventh goal of an impressive season, with his performances bringing rumoured interest from a number of Premier League clubs.
But Farke is determined to keep his prized asset as the Canaries attempt to bounce back to the top-flight at the first attempt.
He said: “Emi is a key player for us, an important member of the group, and he is totally committed to us.
“He is our player and will continue to be our player – he is on a long-term contract with the club so we keep him.
“Everyone knows his qualities – and I don’t expect interest just because he scored a wonder goal today. He has scored a number like this for us and people know what he can do.
“It was an excellent finish and that is what Emi can do. He instinctively knows when to make a run and then has the quality to finish like that.
“My only disappointment is we didn’t score more goals and make it more comfortable for ourselves.
“We created a lot of chances and it could easily have been four of five nil but I will take the three points and the clean sheet.
“We were up against a very good Barnsley side, whose manager should win manager of the month for December, and put in a very good performance.”
The win left Norwich four points clear at the top of the table with 47 points from 23 games and Farke is understandably delighted with their position going into the second half of the season.
He added: “This is the best start to a season Norwich City have had in their history so I have to be happy.
“It has been a great response to the disappointment of being relegated last season and has been achieved despite a lot of injuries.
“All I can do is praise my players – if we carry on like this we will have a very good chance of finishing in the top two but there is still a long way to go yet.”
Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael felt his side had given a good account of themselves against the Championship leaders.
He said: “The first half was excellent and there were many situations when we won the ball in transition.
“We had a big opportunity with Luke Thomas to score. We have to learn to be more clinical in such a game. When you play teams like Norwich you won’t have many chances and you have to make the most of them.
“The second half, we left Norwich to play a lot of balls in behind and we conceded a goal like that.
“After conceding the goal, it was a question of staying in the game and we did it until the end. This is our mentality – to fight. And maybe the lucky punch at the end, we can score and get the point. We deserved it.
“From one side we are delighted about the performance – the development from the team, the squad.
“From another side, for sure we are disappointed to lose this game. But it’s a good feeling to know that we can compete at this level.”
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