ESPN.com.brNov 15, 2023, 06:00Reading: 3 min.
Highlight of the “new generation” of Belgium, Jérémy Doku is one of the sensations of Manchester City in the current season. However, the striker could have ended up with another giant in England if it weren’t for the decisive performance of Romelu Lukakuhis current teammate at Data FIFA, which starts this Wednesday (15), with a friendly against Serbiaat 4:45 pm (Brasília time).
Created on the basis of Anderlecht, Doku caught the attention of Europe’s biggest clubs even before emerging as a professional player. At 15 years old, the young man came into the sights of Chelsea and was swayed by the possibility of moving to Premier League.
Anderlecht decided to act to avoid the early loss of the jewel and asked Lukaku, also trained at the Belgian club, to talk to the boy and tell him a little about his experience. In the past, the center forward left the country for Stamford Bridge, was ostracized due to the lack of opportunities and had to transfer to Everton to get more space.
“Romelu said, ‘Come on, give me your number, I’ll call him’. But I didn’t want to do that because a phone call is quickly forgotten. So instead I got Romelu to convince Jeremy to stay,” said Jean Kindermans , director of the Anderlecht base, to the English newspaper SundayMirror.
“I still have the video on my phone. In it, you can hear Romelu giving advice to the Doku family, saying ‘Hey guys, stay at Anderlecht for a while, you’re fine’ and so on.”
The conversation paid off: Doku remained in Belgium, debuted in Anderlecht’s first team at just 16 years old and quickly made a name for himself. In the team, he played alongside defender Vicent Kompany, Manchester City idol and now coach of the Burnleyalso from England.
Doku spent two years at Rennesfrom France, until he transferred to England in the middle of the year, when City agreed to pay 65 million euros (R$ 342 million) for the Belgian, who has scored three goals and six assists in 14 games this season.
Known for being a great dribbler and very dangerous one-on-one, the fast striker was involved in a mix-up with Antony during the last classic against Manchester United by the Premier League, which ended with City winning 3-0.
During second-half stoppage time, the Belgian dribbled past the Brazilian twice, who became very angry and attacked his opponent. Antony pointed his finger at Doku, who didn’t like the attitude and chested the United striker. After the match, Doku posted a photo of the scene on Instagram and even made fun: “Stay calm. Manchester is blue”.
A constant presence in the national team since the under-15 category, the striker was promoted to the main team at the age of 18 and attracts the attention of very important people in the football world. An idol of Arsenal and France, Thierry Henry worked with Doku when he was Roberto Martínez’s assistant in Belgium and was impressed by the boy’s ability.
“Rarely in my life have I seen a player find a dribble so quickly. It’s extraordinary,” said the former striker.
Recently, another French icon surrendered to the talent of the 21-year-old Belgian.
“I recently spoke to my father about a player who impressed me with his speed, which is Doku. In five years as a professional, I have never seen anyone show as much strength as him,” he said. Kylian Mbappé.