It’s testament to the immense talent Jeremy Doku possesses that he’s been linked with a move to the Premier League for about the past three years and yet he’s still only 19 years of age.
The Belgian winger reportedly turned down Liverpool back in 2018 in favour of a move to Ligue 1 outfit Rennes, and Europe’s biggest clubs have continued to monitor his progress during his time in France.
Having already been capped six times by the world’s number one ranked international team, you probably don’t need us to tell you that the youngster is a prodigious talent – but we’re going to do it anyway.
Here’s everything you need to know about unquestionably one of the future stars of the game…
How he’s performed this season
Doku has already cemented his place in Rennes’ first team during his maiden season outside of Belgium, making 30 Ligue 1 appearances in which he’s notched two goals and two assists.
Rennes haven’t been able to maintain the fantastic form they showed last season that earned them a place in the Champions League, and so it’s not been an easy season for Doku given his lack of experience outside of his home country.
Given the circumstances, the youngster can be pleased with his campaign and he’ll no doubt be in a much better position to kick on next season with a year in France already under his belt.
Doku can play on either wing but his preferred position is on the right-hand side.
Throughout his youth career (we say that as though the lad isn’t still a teenager) he tended to play on the left and was prolific when cutting infield onto his right foot, though in senior football he’s played mainly as a right winger.
The switch has probably taken away from his goal threat a little given he’s predominantly right footed, though it does mean he’s far more effective when using his pace to get to the byline before looking to pick out a teammate.
Who does he play like?
This one’s an easy one considering he’s regularly dubbed the next Sadio Mane – not this season’s Mane though.
Doku has a similar low centre of gravity to the Liverpool man and you only have to watch him when one-on-one with a defender to know where the comparison comes from.
Not only is he lightning fast, he’s also got really quick feet and regularly bamboozles the opposition before somehow managing to wriggle away from their grasp when it looks like he’s about to lose out.
What his teammates and managers have said
“If he perfects his left [foot], he is fully capable of reaching the top. Then he will even surpass [Eden] Hazard in terms of potential.”
– Hein Vanhaezebrouck
“He’s agile, fast and he knows how to dribble. Sure, he sometimes makes a mistake, but who doesn’t? It is a diamond in the rough.”
– Kevin De Bruyne
“He reminds me of Sadio Mane. He’s a player with huge potential.”
– Julien Stephan
FIFA 21 rating and potential
Doku is rated 74 on FIFA 21, though with some training on his weaker left foot he’ll definitely surpass that figure in no time.
The Belgium international’s potential rating is as high as 86, making him a solid investment.
Football Manager rating
Let’s be honest, this is the one that really matters.
There’s a lot of development needed in Doku’s game on Football Manager, though with the right coaching he can become a superstar.
The 19-year-old’s stats for technique, flair, pace and acceleration are already off the chart and the best part about him is he won’t cost you the world to buy.
Doku can play either up top or either side of a striker and so he’s a great option if you’re looking for a player who can plug gaps in the frontline as well as bringing quality.
Needless to say, by the year 2030 he looks a real player…
What boots he’ll wear at Euro 2020
Nike seem to have moved away from sponsoring the biggest names in world football and have instead focused their efforts on the next generation of superstars – of which Doku is definitely one of.
The Belgium international tends to wear Nike’s Mercurial Vapors (in a ridiculously bright colour of course since he’s a winger) and will likely be wearing a pair at Euro 2020.
How involved he’ll be at Euro 2020
Doku has been included in Roberto Martinez’s squad for this summer’s delayed Euro 2020 finals, though how much of a part he’ll play it’s difficult to say.
Having made his senior international debut in September 2020 he already has six caps under his belt including two goals and so the youngster is clearly in Martinez’s future plans.
However, with such star-studded competition, it may well be that the Rennes man is forced to make an impression coming off the bench, though don’t be surprised to see him offered a start either.
Well that cleared up absolutely nothing, didn’t it?