Rennes star Jeremy Doku has opened up about his decision to reject a move to Liverpool despite talks with Jurgen Klopp, Steven Gerrard and Sadio Mane.
The 18-year-old teenager is one of the rising stars in Europe, currently trying to trade in French Ligue 1 after signing with his regular club from Anderlecht as t summer in a £ 23million contract.
However, things could have worked out quite differently for Belgium, which lacked offers on the table several years ago in the light of the Premier League ‘s bright lights.
“I was going to be 16 and that was the age you can sign a pro contract. Several teams came to watch me,” Doku said. Ouest-France . “Everyone’s talking about Liverpool because that was the strongest interest but Arsenal and Chelsea were there as well.”
And Liverpool seem to have been particularly keen on landing the promising youngster, even using their former and current stars in their offensive spell to try to sign Doku.
“I was able to talk to Jurgen, Mane, [Georginio] Wijnaldum… Gerrard also. I talked a lot with Mane but we didn’t talk about football. We talked about everything.
“He told me I was young, that I still had time … he wasn’t trying to convince me or tell me ‘come here, you will succeed’.”
But while there was an obvious claim in leaving Anderlecht behind for Anfield, Doku rejected Liverpool’s progress to advance his development in his own country.
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“I’d rather be careful,” he said. “I knew what my path had to be. That’s why, at 15, I told myself it had become really bad, because I had seen my career. I know what the path I had to take and I knew then that I had to stay at Anderlecht. “
Doku was able to reach more than 20 first-team appearances by the time Rennes came up with a chance to enter their ranks, and since then he has been a regular first-team, scoring his last time vs. Metz, though was then postponed.
The likes of Leeds star Raphinha, Watford’s Ismaila Sarr and Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy have all used Rennes as a stepping stone to a move over lunch, and Doku is confident he can follow in his footsteps, as long as he keeps up the pace. his progress.
He said: “As soon as I am asked if I regret it, I always say no, because if Liverpool come to me at the age of 15, if they like me, they will come back later on forward, that’s for sure. It’s up to me to play well. “