Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says the club have found another supreme young talent in 21-year-old Belgium wide-man Jeremy Doku.
The £55.4m summer signing from Rennes scored the opener and added four assists as City cruised to a 6-1 Premier League success against Bournemouth.
Doku is noted for his direct running but his contribution to second-half goals for Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva were superb – the first involving a delicate pass to set the England man up, the second a sweeping cross-field pass that created the opening for a delicate chipped finish Guardiola likened to Lionel Messi.
“He creates something for the crowd,” said Guardiola. “When he takes the ball everyone gets excited – me too.”
Doku’s opener came after he feigned to shoot from the edge of the area but instead played a precise one-two with Rodri before delivering a shot to the corner.
He beat the close attentions of the Bournemouth defence before cutting the ball back from the by-line to create City’s second for Bernardo on a day when striker Erling Haaland only lasted 45 minutes after suffering a twisted ankle that makes him a doubt for Tuesday’s Champions League encounter with Swiss side Young Boys.
It was a terrific performance from someone who needed a bit of cajoling from his manager to deliver the kind of skills that brought him to City’s attention in the first place.
“The first game I saw him in was on TV against Fulham when I was recovering with my back,” he said. “He was so shy.
“We talked about that. I asked him why he was here, why Manchester City had decided to invest in him. For his skills. What are his skills? Dribbling, be aggressive. Had he done it all his life? Do it [here].
“It is difficult to find a player today with the ability to dribble in small spaces. He’s one of the fastest players in 5m. It’s incredible how he can change the rhythm in 5m.”