Jeremy Doku arrived Manchester City as an important signing to fill the void left by Riyad Mahrez. The club is still frantically trying to round up the transfer window by adding another midfielder. An initial bid for Matheus Nunes was turned down by Wolves. Reports suggest City are pushing to secure a deal for the Portuguese international before the close of the transfer window. But whatever happens in the end, signing Doku was a more important goal.
The Belgian winger turned heads in the French top-flight with Rennes. Having moved to France in October 2020, as the club’s most expensive signing, he has grown steadily at the club. He currently holds the record in the French top-flight for the most successful dribbles in a single game, 12. Perhaps what makes the record even more remarkable is the fact that the former holder of the record is a certain Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr, who completed 11 successful dribbles in a game back in 2020 while still at Paris Saint-Germain.
Doku joins City at a time when the club really needs a winger. After the departures of Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling, the club was lacking a pacy winger who could help the team break through opposition defences, creating chances for team mates and also scoring goals.
Riyad Mahrez’s departure earlier in the summer meant City really had to do something about the situation, especially with the team needing reinforcements for the new campaign. The Belgian is not only replacing Mahrez, his his speed, dribbling ability and creativity make him a very important asset to have moving forward.
He comes ready to slot into the team right away as he started the season on a flying note with Rennes having already scored for the side in his first start of the season. City’s assistant manager confirmed the player’s readiness ahead of the game against Sheffield United.
However, the biggest vote of confidence regarding the player has come from City’s director of football Txiki Begiritstain. The City executive had some glowing words to say about the speedy winger, which partly explains why the club secured his services.
“Jeremy is a very exciting young player and I’m so pleased he’s joining us,” Begiristain said, predicting that the new signing can become a world-class winger under manager Pep Guardiola,” said Begiritstain.
“In terms of raw attributes, he has everything a winger needs. He has outstanding pace and he is exceptional in one-on-one situations.
“I honestly believe working with Pep and the technical staff here at City will see him develop into a world-class attacking talent.”
The player himself has also expressed his eagerness to get on the pitch and show what he can do for the team. Going by his antecedents, he will no doubt put up great performances in the City shirt. The only problem though is his history with injuries.
He made just four starts and was limited to only 14 total appearances for Rennes in his second season at the club. This was due to recurring injuries that kept him on the sidelines for a better part of the season.
That gives the City medical team some work to do to keep him fit and firing when called upon. Having successfully managed Erling Haaland last season to play the most number of games he has ever played in a single season for several years, that should be very doable.