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Jérémy Doku: A Phenomenon from His Early Days at Anderlecht – Former Coach Reveals His Pre-Training Ritual

Just under four years ago, Jérémy Doku left Anderlecht for Rennes. He is now well-settled at Manchester City.

It’s easy to forget sometimes, but Jérémy Doku is still only 22 years old. His time at the Anderlecht academy is therefore still fresh in the memory. Thierry Verjans was his coach at Neerpede and remembers his first contacts with the young prodigy.

“He was very quickly selected as a high-potential player and invited to join Purple Talent (the programme launched by Anderlecht). He was already very original in his dribbling, very daring,” says Verjans, interviewed by the ACFF.

Maturing While Keeping His Carefree Spirit

Even at a young age, Doku had his little ritual: “He’s a lover of the ball, he could have slept with it. Before every training session, he would always come to the coach to provoke him by doing a little nutmeg. ‘Ridiculing the coach’ with a technical gesture was a bit of his hobby. I was often his victim.”

Verjans continues: “What he’s doing today, he was doing back then. The player of today is the kid of yesteryear, with that originality, that systematic desire to provoke and eliminate an opponent.

Has he continued to nutmeg Vincent Kompany and Pep Guardiola? “He’s a player who doubts nothing. His career path shows that. I read one of his latest interviews again, and I think he sees himself winning the Ballon d’Or one day. A leader, I don’t think he will be. But he will always be a key player.”

Written by Angel Chioma

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