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.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 24, 2023
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.”
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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.
Jérémy Doku vs West Ham
86% pass accuracy
3 key passes
1 big chance created
3/7 successful dribbles
7/13 duels won
A very positive start to his Man City adventure for the Belgian Flash! 🇧🇪⚡️ pic.twitter.com/AYiMEDLnlM
— Football Talent Scout – Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) September 16, 2023
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.