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“He has to learn” – Pep Guardiola admits surprise at Manchester City star’s West Ham contribution



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted that Jeremy Doku’s impressive performance against West Ham came as a surprise.

Pep Guardiola returned to the dugout for Manchester City’s 3-1 win over West Ham at the London Stadium, having missed the victories against Sheffield United and Fulham after undergoing emergency surgery for a back problem.

The 52-year-old missed Jeremy Doku’s debut against Fulham at the Etihad Stadium earlier this month, but handed the 21-year-old winger his second consecutive Manchester City start in east London on Saturday.

Doku helped Manchester City to a fifth successive Premier League win, starring against the Hammers and scoring the equalising goal at the start of the second-half, netting a sublime solo effort to cancel out James Ward-Prowse’s opening goal.

Late goals from Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland ensured a comeback victory at the London Stadium, as the Sky Blues returned to the top of the Premier League table with a win over David Moyes’ side.

Doku’s impressive performance surprised manager Guardiola, who hailed the Belgium’s impact against West Ham on Saturday afternoon.

“I will be honest, I didn’t expect him to play for Man City the way he did today! Against Fulham he was deeper and close to Kyle [Walker] so today he was higher.

“There are processes he has to learn and all the time we are there to help him but he has to say, ‘I have to be myself as a player’.

“I was in Barcelona when Jeremy [Doku] arrived and I had the feeling that maybe he was a little shy in his first game.

“He’d just joined us, had two or three days’ training with a team that had won the Treble and we spoke about this, I told him to use his quality as a winger, one on one or one v two, if you have the feeling, go.”

“From the first minute he was incredible, aggressive with determination and arrived many times on the byline.

“I’m really pleased because we thought the quality was there, and he has started to prove it.”

Doku was one of four Manchester City first-team additions during the summer transfer window, moving to the Etihad Stadium for £55.4 million from Stade Rennais.

West Ham, Chelsea and Tottenham were all interested in rivalling Manchester City for the signing of the 21-year-old, who featured alongside fellow summer signings Josko Gvardiol and Matheus Nunes at the London Stadium.

Meanwhile, Mateo Kovacic, who joined from Chelsea for £25 million, missed Saturday’s clash due to injury.