Manchester City Bolster their Attacking Options by Signing Belgian Winger Jeremy Doku
Jeremy Doku, formerly of Rennes, is now the latest signing of Manchester City. The English and European Champions purchased the 19-year-old player for £55 million to replace Riyad Mahrez, who transferred to Saudi Arabia last month.
Already, City has acquired Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea and Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig.
Since joining Rennes in 2020 from Anderlecht, Doku has scored 12 goals in 91 games. He has had 14 appearances for Belgium and scored twice. He was selected for the 2022 World Cup team. Doku will take the number 11 jersey.
Doku enjoys a run at defenders. Typically, he breezes right by them.
The Belgian international averaged 11.84 take-ons per 90 minutes across Europe’s top five divisions, the most of any player on the continent last season. Vinicius Junior was the only other participant to earn a perfect score.
This summer, several Premier League teams were interested in Doku, but West Ham’s offer was rejected earlier this month.
Doku stated on the Manchester City website, “Manchester City is the best football team in the world, so joining them is a big deal for me and my family.
The most recent season of City was incredible to witness. They accomplished the most difficult feat in football, which was to win the treble. You have no idea how thrilling it is to be a member of this team. I cannot wait to get started. I hope that I can make the fans happy.”
Doku is the third signing by the treble winners. He is replacing Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez, who departed for Saudi Pro League club Al Ahli earlier this summer. Kevin De Bruyne suffered a leg injury that could see him out for a few months. So far this season, Bernardo Silva and Cole Palmer have been Mahrez’s replacements.
Doku’s pace makes him reminiscent of a time when Guardiola’s sides featured outpacing wingers like Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling.
Since he predominantly uses his right foot, he is unlikely to cut infield. He is more concerned with reaching the sideline and taking on fullbacks. He will provide City with speed, directness, and a manner with the ball that they currently lack.
Guardiola is unlikely to alter last year’s Champions League strategy for a player who has only appeared in six games, but a surge of speed in the wide areas may have been one of the few things they lacked.
Grealish and Bernardo Silva provide Guardiola with the speed he desires, but Doku would provide the team with a significantly more thrilling playing style.
Guardiola can utilize him as a different type of attacker because he is quick and resembles an old-school winger. He can play on the left or right side, which is where he will most likely play for City.
Due to his brief, injury-plagued career, there will be doubts about Doku’s ability to use his powerful talents to achieve success. He has not played much in his career but his employers believe he has untapped potential.
Txiki Begiristain, the football director for City, stated, “In terms of raw skills, he has everything a winger needs. I’m sure that working with Pep and the City technical staff will help him become a world-class attacking player.”