Manchester City have started the new season on a bright note by maintaining a perfect record after five games in the Premier League. The departure of several key players meant the team needed quality additions in some key positions. Mateo Kovacic slotted well into the midfield while Josko Gvardiol has also stepped up to the challenge in the defence.
Injuries to Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish as well as the departure of Riyad Mahrez have left the team in need of bodies up front. As the team faced West Ham United with a scanty bench, Pep Guardiola was left with no other choice than to start his newest acquisition Jeremy Doku.
The Belgian moved to the Etihad Stadium with a reputation for his electric pace and ability to find the back of the net or set up goals for his teammates. After a rather subdued performance against Fulham in his first appearance for the Blues, the 21-year-old took the bull by the horns against West Ham.
Despite dominating play at the London Stadium, City were 1-0 down and found it difficult to break down the home team’s defence. Doku stepped up early in the second half to score the equaliser, and his first goal for the club.
But it was not just about the goal, his overall performance was top-notch. A constant threat to the opponent’s defence, his goal set the team on course to an important win. His electric pace and dribbling ability left his manager thoroughly impressed.
“I was in Barcelona, I had the feeling that he played a little bit shy (against Fulham),” Guardiola said about the Belgian in his post-match interview.
“He’d just arrived, had two or three days training, with a team that won the treble. Maybe he was a little bit in this way.
“Today was from the first minute incredible, aggressive, great determination, arrived many times to the byline. Many good things he’s done. Really pleased. We thought the quality was there and today he started to prove it.
“When you buy a young player like him for many years (contract), we have to be patient. I didn’t expect the second game for City to play like he did today. The way he played today, I don’t remember from a long time ago something like that.”
With such praise from the manager, it’s fair to say the winger has made a great first impression. It’s now a question of whether he can keep up the high standard set and even raise his game moving forward.
City have been blessed with some amazing wingers in recent years; the likes of Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez. They all contributed in helping the club win several trophies and helping Guardiola cement his legacy as the best manager in the club’s history.
After making history last season, Doku has come at a time when the manager is trying to reinvent the team to achieve even more success. If his blistering start which has coincided with the team’s amazing start to the campaign is anything to go by, City faithful can expect many more happy days at the Etihad Stadium.