Anderlecht forward Jeremy Doku has recalled when Liverpool pulled out all the stops to try and convince him to sign for the Premier League club.
Liverpool have brought in the likes of Sepp van den Berg from PEC Zwolle and Joe Hardy from Brentford over the last year as they have looked to boost their youth ranks off the back of the first team’s success.
Doku has featured 32 times – scoring five goals and contributing four assists – since making his Jupiler Pro League debut in 2018 and looks to have a promising future.
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And the 18-year-old has now revealed how Liverpool attempted to bring him to Anfield as he met the likes of Jurgen Klopp, Sadio Mane and Steven Gerrard.
Doku told Sport/Foot: “It was crazy, really. I was only 15. They invited me with my parents. They made me visit everything. The stadium, the training complex, and we were welcomed by the top. Sadio Mané came to talk to me, Jürgen Klopp was interested by me”.
Asked whether it was a tactic to get him to sign, Doku added: “It’s very possible. Conveniently, we went to the training complex when the players were eating. They allowed us in the restaurant and everyone was there. Steven Gerrard took me aside and he showed me videos… of me.
“He had a lot of them. He commented them to me: ‘What you do here, we like that a lot’, and a lot of things like that. If I’d accepted, I’d have had him as my manager with the youth. For a while, with my parents, we spoke about Chelsea. The Liverpool people immediately clocked it, and they thought we were in talks with Chelsea, but no, it’s the name of one of my sisters”.
On why he rejected Liverpool to stay at Anderlecht, he continued: “If I’d accepted their offer, I may have been in the first-team by now, but maybe not. What I know is that I’m now playing with Anderlecht. People from my block told me to go, they told me I might not have another opportunity. I see things differently. If Liverpool want me at 15 and I confirm with the pros, Liverpool will come back later.
“There were other interested clubs. We also visited Arsenal and Ajax. My parents were encouraging me to go. It was my decision to stay. I wasn’t ready. I wanted to continue enjoying myself, to play with my friends”.
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