Liverpool fans may be pining for a direct replacement for Sadio Mane out wide after the Senegalese star departed for Bayern Munich on Wednesday afternoon. And Liverpool have previously already looked at a direct replacement in the form of Jeremy Doku – who has dropped a huge hint that he is destined for the Premier League in the not-so-distant future.
Doku, 20, caught the eye at Euro 2020 for his thrilling performances in the Belgium team as they crashed out to Italy in the quarter-finals. The Rennes winger has been on the radar of Europe’s biggest teams for quite some time, and a move from the Ligue 1 outfit does not seem too far away.
Liverpool have been one of the clubs linked in the past given that Doku visited the club’s facilities as a 15-year-old, with his energetic, pacy style fitting into the profile of player Jurgen Klopp likes in an attacker. And with the prodigy admitting he would like a move to the Premier League in the past, Liverpool may have already found their successor to Mane’s throne.
“I want to do everything to become one of the best players in the world, at one of the biggest clubs in the world, in the English Premier League if possible. And I am working hard for that,” Doku told RTBF. Doku could be the heir to the throne of the Senegal hero given he too seems to have an energetic, high-tempo style.
The former Southampton star has certified himself as a legend at Anfield after winning every major trophy possible under Klopp since his £32million move from Southampton in 2016. Luis Diaz is his immediate replacement, but the Reds are likely to need another winger to step into the squad with Mohamed Salah’s contract expiring next summer and Diogo Jota’s deadliness upfront meaning he rarely plays out wide.
If the record books are anything to go by, Doku could be a target having reportedly visited Melwood back in 2018 as a 15-year-old wonderkid, according to Het Nieuwsblad. David, Doku’s father, told the same newspaper back then: “My preference was Liverpool. How we were received there, damn. Klopp explained how he saw a potential successor to Sadio Mane in Jeremy.”
And so Doku may factor into Klopp’s thinking as a long-term option out wide for Liverpool, given the player is still only 20 now. If the opportunity arises this summer, transfer chiefs on Merseyside could opt to make a move for the Belgian if the price is right.
Mane has meanwhile opened up on what made him choose Bayern over any other club. “When my agent first told me about Bayern’s interest, I was immediately excited,” Mane told Bild. “I saw myself there right away. For me it was the right club at the right time.
“It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world and the team is always fighting for every title. So for me it was a very good idea and the right decision to come here. My agent told me that there were enquiries from other clubs. That’s part of the business.
“But I got the feeling right away when Bayern presented their plan to me. I found myself in Bayern’s plan more than anyone else.”
And perhaps Doku could be in Liverpool’s plans if he is indeed Premier League bound. That may depend on how much he costs though given their other attacking options at the moment.