The winger who drove the Azzurri crazy is 19 but it’s no surprise: starlet at Anderlecht, taken last year for 26 million by Rennes, is now worth at least double. He didn’t go to the Reds because of Lukaku, now instead …
The character of the player was understood when they asked him last night in a malicious tone about the rigor obtained with which he reopened the game: “Anyone who knows me knows that I never fall to the ground for nothing. If I can, I’ll stand up ”. For Jeremy Doku, that’s the key: he lives for dribbling, and if he falls it’s not dribbling. Yesterday he scored 8, a record for a teenager in a major event. More: even this season he did more than Neymar and Mbappé while playing in a team that does much less ball possession than PSG, he was also the youngest to play a starter in the final stages of a European and a World Cup, he did maddening Di Lorenzo and for long stretches his ideas, apparently thoughtless but effective, were the only roadblock between the Azzurri and the semi-final against Spain. But those who know him will not be surprised: this boy with braids can already be counted among the best in the world at jumping man, an art that makes the fans dream and checkmate the coaches who know how to exploit it.
Dribbling is a bit like drawing or guitar: you can learn and maybe it works well for you, but if you are born with talent, it is a whole other thing and you can see / hear it. Here, Jeremy Doku was born 19 years ago who probably already knew how to jump the man, now that he is the professional wing he has refined his dowry bringing it almost to perfection. He annoys you with the change of pace, he knows all the sleight of hand and has also learned to help himself with a physically built to the point: leaning the shoulders against the defender or feint counter-match to Allen Iverson a full-back always puts it behind him. It is almost the same name as one of the great villains of Star Wars, and the dark side of the Force is not alien to him: it is still a bit of a field, it is not always continuous and it does not always pass it when it should, but it is all stuff that is scorned . His story is that of so many talents that the spotlights see them from outside and want to go under it: a poor family – “I went to school with football shorts, broken shoes and a 15 euro phone” -, who grew up in Borgerhout, a neighborhood difficult in Antwerp where you have to fight even for the little things, forged on the concrete pitches, tough head even when the Anderlecht youth coaches, on the one hand widened their eyes in front of his talent and on the other they told him not to exaggerate in pointing the man. The answer? “Until I fall, I continue”. Like Friday night.
The fact is that if you are gifted like this, Insigne’s theorem with tiraggiro and miracles in sacred texts applies: try it, since you can. The coaches see it, they know it, and certain variables put them on an equal footing in their game plans. Doku had seen it well Klopp, at 15 he was practically already of Liverpool. He also went to Anfield to see the structures and talk to the champions, but Anderlecht played the Lukaku card: he made a video to the bomberone, his current attacking partner in Belgium, in which he suggested that he stay to grow better, and he accepted the advice against all odds. Now he plays for Rennes, which paid him 26 million with the hope of making a crack to sell at least twice as much. At the beginning it was a bit of an effort but in the last part of the season it got going, and the showcase of the European Championship could wake up important appetites: Klopp himself had seen the heir of Sadio Mané as the boy in the phase of non possession is very busy, now it could go back to the assault. Doku, who evidently says when he speaks, commented at the time: “If Liverpool really like me so much at 15, he’ll be back even later. It’s up to me to play well ”.
Born to Ghanaian parents but in the Red Devils national team since he was 15, Roberto Martinez is another who sees the Doku variable as a virtue and not a burden: he made his debut with the greats last September against Denmark, three days later against Iceland scored his first goal, he who will never be a double-digit striker but will always make the fortune of those who play next to him. He also called him for the World Cup qualifiers, he preferred to bring him to the European Championships rather than Januzaj, who also did well at Real Sociedad, or other rampant babies. And he did not exalt to launch him in the crucial match with Italy, preferring him to Carrasco who is another fine dribbler and focusing on his favorite art to undermine the Azzurri. It went wrong for him, but not for Doku: his graffiti on the band is now known worldwide. And it’s not bad at Rennes either: between him and the other baby phenomenon Camavinga, he can sell well and survive for a long time.
July 3, 2021 (change July 3, 2021 | 15:34)
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