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“I was impressed” – Pep Guardiola lauds rapid Jeremy Doku impact



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Pep Guardiola did not shy away from raining praise on Manchester City new-boy Jeremy Doku after the winger’s stellar performance against West Ham on Saturday.

The Belgian international signed for the Etihad club for a reported fee of £55.5 million from Ligue 1 side Rennes in the final days of the summer transfer window, but has taken no time at all to settle into his new surroundings in East Manchester.

Doku was a key figure in Manchester City’s 3-1 victory away to West Ham last weekend, scoring the equalising goal for the Blues while tormenting Hammers full-back Vladimír Coufal throughout the match.

Manchester City extended their Premier League winning streak to five games on Saturday, as second-half goals from Doku, Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland maintained the Blues’ impressive start to the campaign.

The 21-year-old cancelled out James Ward-Prowse’s opening goal with a superb solo effort early into the second-half, with Pep Guardiola’s side going to on to secure a vital three points.

Saturday’s fixture was the 21-year-olds second successive start for Manchester City, and in speaking after the showdown at the London Stadium, City boss Pep Guardiola expressed surprise at Doku’s rampant start.

“When you are the wingers against the full-backs and dribble, is a chance. Sometimes to go back, I have to do it. Support for a winger to dribble to the byline is a chance. He does it a lot.

“That’s why I say I was impressed, we knew his quality but didn’t expect the ability to release.

“Julian [Alvarez], Erling [Haaland], Phil [Foden], go close to the box because this guy dribbles and they have to be there, an incredible threat.

“For a long time I didn’t see a performance of a winger going again and dribbling with his full-back. It won’t happen every week. He has the quality to do it, go, try to do it.”

While Doku may not have been expected to hit the ground running in the early days of his City career, he is aided by the absence of Jack Grealish on the left-wing, who is missing from the squad through a muscular injury.

However, Doku’s flying start could give Guardiola a selection headache when Grealish returns to full fitness.

After a perfect start to the Premier League season so far, five wins from five, City’s attention will now turn towards European proceedings as they face Red Star Belgrade on the opening night of UEFA Champions League Group G action on Tuesday, where Doku could be set to make his European debut for the Sky Blues.