Reported Liverpool and Newcastle United target Jeremy Doku has been handed his first ever call-up for the Belgium national team with Roberto Martinez hailing an ‘exceptional talent’, while speaking to Yahoo Sports.
Some of the finest Belgian footballers of a Golden Generation have risen through the ranks at Anderlecht and, if this teenage winger wants to follow in the footsteps of Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans and Leander Dendoncker, then he is certainly on the right track.
Voetbal Krant reported in June that Newcastle are hoping to add another mercurial winger to their ranks, despite the fact that Doku, at £18 million, is one of the most expensive teenagers in Europe today.
It is no secret, meanwhile, that Liverpool have been watching the Antwerp-born wonder-kid very closely over the last few years, with Jurgen Klopp convinced that Anderlecht have the new Sadio Mane on their hands.
Former RSCA boss Hein Vanhaezebrouck tipped Doku to ‘surpass Eden Hazard’ if he can make his left foot as dangerous as his right.
And the teenager can learn a thing or two from a Real Madrid Galactico as Belgium prepare for their Nations League clashes with Denmark and Iceland next month.
“Doku is an exceptional talent,” said former Everton boss Martinez, who named Doku in an experimental squad.
“He brings something very important in modern football and that is his qualities in one-on-one situations.”
Blessed with searing pace and the ability to breeze past full-backs at full speed; no wonder Doku has been likened to Mane.
“Jurgen Klopp came to explain how he saw a potential successor to Sadio Mane in Jeremy,” Doku’s father told Het Nieuwsblad recently, reminiscing about his talks with the Liverpool boss back in 2018.
“Steven Gerrard (then youth coach) showed us videos with tactical analysis. Mignolet, Mane and Wijnaldum came to talk to us at the training complex.”