Justifying Conceit – Jérémy Doku
Jeremy Doku: Speed in the world of football is usually synonymous with players like Kylian Mbappe or Alphonso Davies. When it comes to dribbling, it’s usually Lionel Messi or Bernardo Silva who come to mind. However, there’s one individual who dares to defy this general rule of thumb, and that man is none other than Manchester City’s Jérémy Doku. Those who watch him become his admirers, and those who admire him seek inspiration from his incredible talent.
Setting aside his extraordinary on-field highlights, few know Jeremy on a personal level. In this article, we aim to change that and acquaint you with the Belgian speedster’s meteoric rise to the top, untold biography facts, childhood stories, and other intriguing aspects of his life, including his religion and love life. Let’s begin!
Jérémy is the second of four children born to the loving union of David and Belinda Doku. He has one elder brother, Jefferson, and two younger sisters.
Football runs in their family, as their father, David, was also a professional football player. Both of David’s sons, Jefferson and Jérémy, have followed in his footsteps and become professional football players themselves. The one trait that unites them all is their incredible speed, which seems to be encoded in their genes and passed down through generations.
Jérémy is of Ghanaian ethnicity. His parents moved to Belgium from Ghana in the early 90s in search of better economic opportunities.
Though he hasn’t made any statements regarding his religious affiliation or any public displays to manifest it, current data strongly indicates that he is a Christian.
Jeremy Doku Marital Status
He is currently unmarried, and data on his previous relationships is unavailable. Our research indicates that his parents want him to remain focused on football. Yet, considering his meteoric rise, there’s very little doubt that he’ll stay single for too long.
Childhood and Early Years
On the 27th of May 2002, Jérémy Doku was born in Borgerhout, a suburb of Antwerp. He became the second child in the Doku household. Despite not being the youngest, he received a tremendous amount of care and attention during his upbringing. The family lived in a terraced house, and Jérémy’s love for football began during those early years.
During his tender years, he often spent time in the local parks with his small football, and his older brother frequently accompanied him. Along the way, he gathered a group of friends and fellow football enthusiasts. However, his mother always had concerns about their neighborhood and the environment they were in. She remained cautious, expressing her concerns in conversations:
There, you can quickly meet bad people. Alcohol and drugs happen easily, and kids got caught up if they are not careful.
I was lucky as my two sons directly loved Football.
So, it was only a matter of time before young Jérémy began sowing the seeds of his footballing journey. At the age of 6, he attended trials at KVC Olympic Deurne. His natural dribbling talent set him apart from other candidates, and he passed the trials, becoming their most valuable asset. When it comes to his footballing idols, he fondly mentions Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho:
“As a kid, I never had anyone’s poster on my wall. I used to have players I loved to watch – Lionel Messi, and Ronaldinho – players who were brilliant dribbles.”
Climbing the Ladder
Following a brief stint with KVC, he made a move to their affiliated franchise, Tubantia Borgerhout, which held a more favorable reputation compared to KVC. However, he faced an abrupt exit from the youth ranks as the academy closed due to bankruptcy. The search for a new football academy in Antwerp proved to be relatively straightforward, as he quickly enrolled in Beerschot AC’s youth system, a distinguished academy in Antwerp.
Jeremy’s technical abilities and gameplay set him apart from his peers. He established an entirely different and unattainable standard for the young kids he played with. Along the way, he earned numerous individual and team accolades. RSC Anderlecht’s scouting team became increasingly interested in this young prodigy and started closely observing him. Their observations were more than convincing, and in 2012, at the age of 10, Jeremy joined Anderlecht.
His journey didn’t stop there. Anderlecht was so impressed that they offered him a scholarship and enrolled him at Anderlecht’s Purple Talents boarding school, where he could continue his education alongside his football development.
Famished for Success
At Anderlecht, he quickly gained a reputation for his lightning speed and dribbling skills. On the pitch, he developed a unique style of play, where he’d patiently wait for opponents to approach him and then swiftly dribble past them. After leaving them in the dust, he would occasionally pause, almost inviting them to challenge him again, only to further embarrass them with his dribbling prowess.
Young Jeremy was more focused on showboating and showcasing his skills than on refining his finishing and decision-making in the final third. This attitude often led to criticism from some of his coaches and earned him the nickname ‘The Arrogant One.
After an impressive run of performances with Anderlecht’s youth team, he earned his first cap for the Belgium U15 team. This milestone coincided with an even greater rush of excitement for the young man when Liverpool approached him and invited him to visit their training facilities. During his visit, he had the opportunity to meet Jurgen Klopp and exchange words with several senior team members, including Gini Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane.
To persuade Jeremy to remain with Anderlecht, the club’s higher staff called upon their youth ranks’ star, Romelu Lukaku, to intervene. This endeavor was successful, as ‘Big Rom’ had a way with words and convinced him to stay with the Royal Purples.
Standing Out and Loud
He made history at Anderlecht by becoming their third youngest debutant at just 16 years and 182 days of age. His immediate impact on the team was evident. Initially deployed as a super-sub, his scintillating performances quickly earned him a spot in the regular starting eleven. However, the young and talented Jeremy was determined to seek a new challenge and start afresh.
Enter Stade Rennes, who secured his signature for a fee of €26 million in the summer of 2020. During the same period, he received his first call-up to the Belgian national team and scored his debut goal in the second of the two games he played. It was now clear to everyone that this young talent was a force to be reckoned with. He learned a great deal from the experienced players at both the club and the national team, as well as from up-and-coming players like Edouardo Camavinga.
In a very short span, he had become the face of Rennes. However, what disrupted his smooth progress was a never-ending series of injuries. Nevertheless, he made a successful return from these injuries and played a pivotal role in helping Rennes secure a commendable fourth-place finish in the 2022/23 season of Ligue 1.
In need of swift reinforcements, Pep Guardiola reached out to the Belgian sensation and convinced him to sign with Manchester City. The transfer fee rose to €60 million, with several clauses and add-ons as part of the complete package.
Fun Facts about Jeremy Doku
- Doku completed eight dribbles against Italy during Euro 2020, setting a record for a teenager in the competition.
- Playing alongside and being coached by Vincent Kompany, Doku had the following to say about him: ‘“Playing with Vincent was very cool. It was very cool. I had a good, good relationship with Vincent. I remember he gave me one assist, so I’m grateful for that.
- “And even if he came to us at nearly the end of his career, you could still see that he has the abilities that he had at City so he was a top, top player”
- He claims to be the best dribbler in Ligue 1
- Doku is known for playing a lot of music in the dressing room and is often tasked with setting the right tone.
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