Liverpool have been tracking teenage Belgian winger Jeremy Doku “for a while” and could approach Anderlecht in an attempt to sign him, according to Nieuwsblad.
The 17-year-old is currently contracted to the Brussels-based club until 2022, having recently agreed a new deal, although Niewusblad reckon that won’t stop the likes of Liverpool from testing Anderlecht’s resolve for him further down the line.
Who is Jeremy Doku and what does he have to offer?
Doku has emerged from Anderlecht’s youth ranks to become a first team regular this season, with four goals and three assists in 24 senior appearances so far in the current campaign. He has endured mixed fortunes of late, recovering from a first half red card against Mechelen last month to score twice and set up another goal in his team’s 7-0 thrashing of Zulte Waregem at the weekend.
The teenager has played predominantly on the right wing this season but has been shifted to the left flank in recent games, including the aforementioned matches. Of his 21 league appearances so far this term, 14 have been as a starter, with TransferMarkt estimating his value at £5.4m.
A scout report from Soccersouls described him as a versatile attacker who “possesses great pace to burn and stretch the opposition back line”. The report also hailed his “great dribbling skills” as well as testifying to his potent finishing abilities and clever link-up play with fellow attackers. The latter trait is one for which Reds forward Roberto Firmino has been described as one of the best in the world by Trent Alexander-Arnold, as per Liverpool’s matchday magazine [via Reds Live].
How might Doku fit into Liverpool’s squad and what might his arrival mean for others at Anfield?
With Doku having only played regularly for Anderlecht for one season, and with 20-goal Mohamed Salah holding down the right-wing berth, the teenager would likely be a backup player at best if he were to join Liverpool this summer.
However, it is not inconceivable that he could get first team opportunities for the Reds next season if that move materialises. Xherdan Shaqiri, currently the only natural right-wing backup to Salah, is expected to leave at the end of this season (as per The Mirror), so Klopp could be eager to bring in another natural fit for the position. Also, it is likely that Liverpool will have to do without the Egyptian for a few weeks in January 2021 should his team qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations finals, which are to be held at that time.
Doku would very much be a signing for the future if Liverpool were to strike a deal for him this year, although he could be taken under the wing of compatriot Divock Origi, who was only 19 when he signed for the Reds in 2014. He was instantly loaned back to Lille before settling at Anfield, something that Liverpool may yet do with the teenager if he were to join from Anderlecht.
A succession of teenagers have had first team experience at Liverpool this season, so Doku might get a few chances at Anfield, and if Shaqiri moves on in the summer, the young Belgian could be a more than useful alternative to Salah whenever the Egyptian is unavailable or rested.
Do you think Doku would be a good signing for Liverpool? Should the Reds go all-in to try and get him if Shaqiri goes in the summer? Comment below with your views!