Manchester City lost Riyad Marhez earlier this summer, and have now found his replacement from Stade Rennais F.C. in Jeremy Doku.
It’s no secret Manchester City has lost goals this summer with the departures of both Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez. With a winger as important as Mahrez has been, City wasn’t going to just hope they can fill that void with existing squad players, it’s not what they do. They don’t rest, even after having completed a historic treble last season, they know that losing such key players means that the transfer market was a necessity in order to maintain the incredible squad depth like in years past.
They secured Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig in defense, and have now been sniffing around for midfielders and wingers. Enter, Jeremy Doku from Rennes. Doku is an electric winger who is just 21 years old and playing in Ligue 1 in France. He has one goal in two matches so far this season and managed 6 goals and two assists over the course of last season. Having recently informed his current club of his desire to play at Manchester City, it seems the deal is entering the final stages with the player set to fly to England in the coming days.
Jeremy Doku is just what Manchester City needs, a versatile winger who can play either side of the striker. He is incredibly pacey, has quick feet, and loves to take on his defenders. In fact, Doku averages 6.50 take-ons per 90 minutes, which is in the 99th percentile.
Who is Jeremy Doku?
Doku came up in Anderlecht’s academy, starting when he was just 10 years old. Before that, he played in Antwerp for KVC Olympic Deurne, Tubantia Borgerhout then Beerschot. After his move to Rennes, he quickly caught the eyes of many from around Europe.
He has not only ascended at club level but was also selected for both Belgium’s Euro 2020 squad as well as their World Cup squad this past December. Now, he could be getting his big move to Manchester City in the coming days.
So, what is Manchester City getting for a reported £55.5 million?
As previously mentioned, his pace is one of the first things that come to mind, and given City hasn’t had a winger known for their pace since Leroy Sane, or even more recently Raheem Sterling, that will be a great asset to reintroduce into the squad. His pace, combined with his ability to take on defenders makes for an absolute nightmare. He does not shy away from having a go at whoever is standing in his way, and while this might be scaled down every now and then for a side that values possession, this will be incredibly exciting to watch, not to mention lethal if he can add some tasty service for other Manchester City attackers.
Jeremy Doku’s dribbling ability is heightened only by the fact that he is comfortable doing it with both feet. He is constantly looking for that chance after receiving the ball to go at his defenders, and with his success rate ( 60.4%), it’s easy to see why.
His understanding of how to position himself to receive and progress the ball while using his body intelligently is just another facet of his game to like.
However, when you look at the stats from earlier, his goal-scoring isn’t exactly potent. He admits this is an area where he is working to improve, and surely under Pep Guardiola, he will have the opportunity to do just that. His learning curve will likely have a larger grace period given a certain Norweigan striker up top for Manchester City.
While this isn’t a positive, it is worth bringing up as well for Manchester City fans. Over the last 3 seasons with Rennes, Jeremy Doku has accumulated 8 injuries, with the longest lasting 44 days according to Transfermarkt. With two knee injuries in that time, and a few hamstring problems, it is certainly something to keep an eye on, but no doubt a statistic that Manchester City is aware of and are willing to take on.
With the fee at a reported £55.5 million, a player of his age and the potential he possesses should be looked at as a good piece of business for Manchester City, especially with the prices the league has seen in the last few weeks. With room to improve, Doku should not be eyed as somebody who has to hit the ground running in this City side, but rather provide valuable depth in attack while he learns what it means to play under Pep Guardiola. His ability on the ball will provide the wow factor for fans, it’s just a matter of adapting to his new team and the demands and pressure that comes with a move to the Premier League.