Has Manchester City found their Riyad Mahrez replacement?

Riyad Mahrez left Machester City this summer to make a move to Saudi Pro League side Al-Ahli, leaving the side shy of wingers, this saw them turn to 21-year-old Jérémy Doku. The Belgium winger made a move from the Ligue 1 side Rennes for a fee of £55.5m and is doing exceptionally so far in the games he has played.

Thierry Henry complimented Doku, saying “When you’re one-on-one with him, there’s only one thing left to do… pray.” When one recevies praise from one of the best ever to play the game, that says something indeed. He also said “Rarely in my life have I seen a player come out of a dribble so quickly. It is extraordinary.”

Also Read: Is Haaland v Mbappe the new Ronaldo v Messi?

How good is he?

Doku’s dribbling is extraordinary, last season he managed to complete 6.5 successful take-ons per 90 minutes, which saw him reach a total of 96. That put him in talks with the likes of Vinícius Júnior (112) and Lionel Messi (103). The combination of his dribbling with his agility makes him a force to be reckoned with for his opposition, and it is going to go up a level with elite coaching from Pep Guardiola.

Last season he started a total of 16 games, contributing seven goals and five assists, aiding Rennes to a top-four finish. Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappé said, “In five years as a professional football player, I have never seen someone develop so much strength from a standstill as him.”

He is a versatile option for Manchester City, having the ability to play both left wing and right wing, which has already been made use of. If used correctly, in-game he can confuse the opponents by interchanging with other players; depending on how Guardiola wants to tactically set up.

Already showing good signs at City

So far for his new side, he has featured against Fulham and West Ham, and he is already showcasing his ability to play both sides of the wing. Against Fulham, he was labelled as “a little bit shy” by Pep Guardiola. However, he understood, saying “He had just arrived, had two or three days training with the team who had won the Treble.” Doku showed glimpses of what he could do, but against West Ham, he really proved what he could do.

Throughout the game he was electric, West Ham’s Vladimír Coufal was put up with a difficult task to defend him throughout the game, causing Jarrod Bowen to have to help out by creating a 2vs1 situation. That opened up space in other areas on the pitch. He adds a different dynamic to the Manchester City side and is a lot different from the likes of Jack Grealish in their style of play.

Key Lessons Acquired

Coming to the Premier League is an experience in itself. Playing at one of the biggest clubs in the world induces lessons that cannot be taught elsewhere. After the Fulham game, Doku commented “From the last game [Fulham] I learned that you have to be calm. The massive thing is to not lose the ball – I can still improve on that. It’s about being calm on the ball and having confidence and I want to keep improving on that but today was a success.”             
The youngster will continue to “keep on learning – every training session and game”. With the help of Pep Guardiola, the potential is there to be one of the next big players in world football. Pep has a long list of players he has turned world-class like Lionel Messi, David Alaba and Kevin De Bruyne. Many see Jérémy Doku going to the very top. Considering he is just 21 years old and doing what he is doing already, you can only imagine how much he will progress.

Related articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share article

Latest articles