Rennes forward Jeremy Doku has revealed that he decided to snub a move to Liverpool as he didn’t feel ready for the Premier League.
The Reds first tried to sign the 18-year-old from Belgian club Anderlecht back in 2018. Chelsea were also keen at the time, according to the youngster’s father.
But the Merseysiders made a real effort to lure him to Anfield, with Jurgen Klopp even holding talks. However, he remained at Lotto Park and made 37 appearances in all competitions before leaving for Rennes in October 2020.
The teenager has enjoyed a decent start to life with the Ligue 1 club, with 14 appearances this term. He has yet to score but seems happy in his surroundings.
Liverpool made another attempt to sign him last summer, with eyebrows raised as to why he would knock back the English giants. The Belgium international has now lifted the lid on why he opted for Brittany over Merseyside.
“I did a lot of research first, wrote down all the positive points and only then did I make a decision,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “I knew that I first wanted to make an intermediate step. Going to a top club now would be too soon. I still have a lot to learn and Rennes is the ideal place for that.
“They play the Champions League, it’s a good team that plays in a good league.”
The Antwerp-born ace also reeled of the players he runs out with as another reason for the move.
Third bid likely
While Doku did not feel he was mature enough for the rigours of the Premier League at the time, experience will change that. He has already made six Champions League appearances.
It was a chastening experience as Rennes failed to win a match and crashed out of the tournament with one point. It will all be a learning curve, with a move to a bigger club inevitable in the near future.
Liverpool may return in the summer to test the water for a third time. It remains to be seen if he can resist another charm offensive, especially with his father keen on the transfer.
But for now he is happy to continuing learning his trade, adding: “I do feel that I am becoming more flexible”.