Let’s face some facts about Jeremy Doku. Jeremy Doku, famously known as the Dancing Winger, has swiftly become a sensation in the Premier League. While some have followed his journey from his Belgian and French days, many others were introduced to his brilliance after his move to Manchester City.
Facts About Jeremy Doku
Today, let’s delve into 10 intriguing facets of this remarkably skilled individual that you might not be aware of.
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1. Doku could’ve played for Ghana
First of all, we’re pretty sure not many of you don’t know that Doku could’ve played for Ghana. Yes, he really could have if he wanted to. Although born in Belgium, Doku is of Ghanaian descent and could have opted to represent the West African country on the international stage if he wanted to.
But we don’t think he even gave it much thought. Doku debuted for the Belgium national team at the age of 18 and he has since gone on to represent the European country in the Nations League, Euros, and the World Cup. One could say he’s the heir to Hazard’s throne on the left wing. That’s how good he has proven to be.
2. Klopp’s Readiness to Sign Him at 15
Jeremy Doku is so talented that Jurgen Klopp was ready to sign him when he was just 15 years old!
He was still in Anderlecht’s academy at the time, but his talent was so evident that Liverpool wanted to sign him immediately. He and his family were invited to Liverpool, where Klopp reportedly told his father that he saw a lot of similarities between Doku and Sadio Mane, expressing his desire for the Belgian to succeed the Senegalese icon at the club.
Of course, the Dokus were tempted, but Anderlecht wanted to keep him desperately. So, what did they do?
They called on Romelu Lukaku to intervene. Lukaku had graduated from the Anderlecht academy before moving to the Premier League, and as someone Doku looked up to and respected, he was the one person the kid would listen to.
Thus, Lukaku got on a video call with Doku and advised him to stay back for a bit and, at least, graduate from the academy first. Doku listened, and he ended up staying back at Anderlecht until 2020. One could say that was good advice, and Doku was smart for taking it.
He might not have entered Liverpool’s first team in 2017, which could have derailed his career. But look at him now, performing at the biggest club in Europe at just 21. He is indeed proving to be exceptionally good.
3. Athletic Roots
Jeremy Doku comes from a sporty family, which might explain why he’s so good. His older brother plays football too, and their dad used to be an athlete. Jeremy probably got his speed from his dad.
4. The Belgian Flash
Doku’s quickness earned him a very interesting nickname – the Belgian Flash. We don’t even need to explain the nickname; it speaks for itself. And when you watch him on the pitch, you see exactly why he is called that. This nickname was said to have been given to him by talent scouts when he was younger. The guy has really been quick all his life.
5. Doku Grew Up Near Antwerp’s Stadium
It feels like he didn’t exactly choose this life; it’s like life picked him. Would you believe this guy grew up just minutes away from Royal Antwerp’s stadium? Yes, the reigning Belgian champions.
He could hear the cheers and noise from the stadium while sitting at home during games. He was surely destined to love the sport. Imagine growing up so close to one of the biggest clubs in the country—it must have been really amazing for him as a kid.
6. Most Expensive Player in the Club’s History
In 2020, he broke a record when he left Belgium to move to France. Ligue 1 club Rennes signed him for 26 million euros and that made him the most expensive player in the club’s history. He was just 18 years old at the time.
And 3 years later, Rennes made a huge profit after they sold him to Manchester City for 65 million euros, and from his very first day in England, he has been looking like he’s worth every penny.
7. Euro 2020 Brilliance
He has played in the Nations League, Euros, and World Cup with Belgium. At Euro 2020, he was one of Belgium’s shining stars at just 19 years old. He played in the quarter-final against eventual champions Italy, and although the Red Devils lost, Doku was exceptional. He won a penalty for his team and even broke a record.
He completed 8 dribbles in that game, a record for a teenager in the Euros. When we said he could be the heir to Hazard’s throne in the Belgium national team, we weren’t joking.
Despite doubts about his transition to the Premier League after his performances in the Euros and Ligue 1, he doesn’t seem to be struggling at all. In fact, just 8 games in, this lad already holds a Premier League record. No jokes.
8. Youngest to Make 4 Premier League Assists
In the Premier League match against Bournemouth, Doku stole the spotlight by scoring one goal and assisting four others. And here’s the kicker! Those four assists equaled the record for the most assists in a single Premier League game. Doing that at 21 years and 161 days old made him the youngest player ever to achieve four assists in a single Premier League match.
9. He Carries a Touch of Arrogance
Now, here’s something many might not know or believe about Jeremy Doku – he carries a bit of arrogance. Those who’ve known him from his younger days label him as such because he enjoys outmaneuvering his opponents, waiting for them to recover, and then doing it all over again. It’s a bit too confident for some.
But it’s not just his actions; it’s also his words. In 2021, he boldly claimed himself as the top dribbler in Ligue 1, quite a statement with talents like Mbappe and Neymar in the league at the time.
To his credit, he somewhat backed up his claim. In May 2021, he completed 12 dribbles in a match against Bordeaux, surpassing Neymar’s record for the most dribbles in a single Ligue 1 game.
If you’re going to talk the talk, at least he walked the walk.
10. Doku’s Idols
Considering how good a dribbler he is, his idols are actually not very surprising. Jeremy Doku has identified his footballing idols as Eden Hazard, Lionel Messi, and Ronaldinho. He really did learn from the best, didn’t he?
Bonus Fact: The Griddy Celebration
Jeremy Doku’s trademark celebration is a dance called The Griddy. It was created by a highschool American footballer named Allen Davis in 2018 and popularized by NFL star Justin Jefferson.
The dance has since been exported into football with the likes of Christian Pulisic, Moise Kean, Rafael Leao, and Jesse Lingard having celebrated goals with the dance at one point or another. But Doku seems to have taken the dance and owned it, so get ready to see the Griddy pretty often because the Belgian Flash doesn’t seem like he’s ready to stop scoring.
And how many goals do you think Doku will end up getting in his first season at City? 10? 15? 20?
Drop your predictions in the comments.