Anderlecht Academy Director Jean Kindermans reveals how Romelu Lukaku influenced Jeremy Doku’s career

12 September, 2023

In a heartwarming tale of camaraderie and mentorship, Romelu Lukaku, the renowned striker, played a pivotal role in preserving the budding career of Jeremy Doku, a talented young winger, who was on the brink of leaving Anderlecht for Chelsea during his early years.

The story begins with Jeremy Doku, a 15-year-old prodigy who had captured the attention of several Premier League clubs, including Chelsea, while he was still a youth player at Anderlecht. The Belgian club faced a challenging task in convincing Doku to remain with them amid tempting offers from abroad. Follow your favourite football team with attractive football betting odds from Nextbet. 

Enter Romelu Lukaku, a footballer who had trodden a similar path. Both Lukaku and Doku had their roots at the prestigious Brussels club before embarking on their journeys to the pinnacle of European football.

Academy director Jean Kindermans, the custodian of this heartwarming tale, recalled the moment when Lukaku stepped in to provide invaluable guidance. Kindermans recounted, “I remember taking Romelu into my office about the problem of getting young players to commit to us – Doku in particular. Romelu replied, ‘Come on, pass your phone to me, I’m going to call him’.”

However, Kindermans, wise in his approach, chose an alternative path. Rather than a fleeting phone call, he entrusted Lukaku with the task of personally persuading Doku to stay at Anderlecht.

“I didn’t want to do that because a phone call gets quickly forgotten,” Kindermans explained. “So, instead, I got Romelu to convince Jeremy to stay. I still have the video on my phone. On it, you can hear Romelu giving advice to the Doku family, saying ‘Hey, guys, stay with Anderlecht for a while, you’re good’ and so on.”

The impact of Lukaku’s heartfelt plea resonated profoundly. Jeremy Doku heeded the advice, and in 2018, at the tender age of 16, he made his first-team debut for Anderlecht. Subsequently, his career soared as he secured a move to Rennes two years later before eventually joining Manchester City in a transfer estimated to be worth around £55.5 million.

Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku’s journey took him back to Chelsea, where he returned with newfound experience and maturity. He also embarked on loan spells with Inter Milan last season before making a move to Roma last month.

The tale of Lukaku and Doku serves as a testament to the importance of mentorship and guidance within the footballing world, where experienced players often play a pivotal role in shaping the careers of the rising stars. In this instance, it was Romelu Lukaku’s wisdom and genuine concern that helped Jeremy Doku find his path to success in the world of football. Get the latest updates from the world of football only on Nextbet Sports.