Immanuelson (Manny) Duku has joined National League side Barnet on loan until January from League Two outfit Cheltenham Town.
25-year-old striker Duku, who stands at 6 foot 3”, was born in Amsterdam, Holland, and joined Cheltenham in late July 2018 from Isthmian League South Central Division side Hayes & Yeading United for a transfer fee. He had enjoyed a prolific spell with Hayes & Yeading United, scoring 39 goals in 50 appearances during the 2017-18 season.
Strong but also possessing pace, Duku broke the club’s record for goals in a season, which was previously held by Josh Scott, who netted 25 times during a campaign before moving on to play for Dagenham & Redbridge in League Two and League One.
He netted his first goal in the Football League with a late equaliser at Macclesfield Town in August in his third appearance for the Robins and in total he has made eleven appearances in all competitions so far during his time at Whaddon Road.
Duku began his career in his native Holland with SC Heerenveen, whom he joined at the age of 18, playing in the club’s second team.
After leaving the club and playing local football in Holland, Duku decided to move to England to pursue a football career and be closer to his mother. One of eight children and with parents of Ghanaian heritage, Duku initially signed for Chesham United in the summer of 2015. However, after a few outings, he joined Hemel Hempstead Town. After just a couple of weeks with manager Dean Brennan’s side, he joined Kings Langley, which is where Duku began to lay some roots and the foundations for his career in English football.
Under the stewardship of former Chelsea, Southampton and Luton Town midfielder Paul Hughes – the joint manager of Kings Langley – he helped the club to win the league title. However, Hughes left to join Hayes & Yeading United the following season and Duku soon departed, joining Southern Premier League side Banbury United, where he was close to helping the club reach the play-offs.
At the end of the campaign, former manager Paul Hughes contacted him about linking up with him at Hayes & Yeading United and he penned a two-year contract at Beaconsfield Road in the summer of 2017.
His record at the club spoke for itself, with Duku firing 39 goals in 50 appearances and his form alerted the attentions of a host of clubs but it was League Two outfit Cheltenham Town who won the race for his signature after agreeing an undisclosed transfer fee with Hayes & Yeading United.
Following the arrivals of experience front duo Tyrone Barnett and Luke Varney at Cheltenham Town, new Robins manager Michael Duff has decided to loan Duku to Barnet to gain valuable first-team experience at The Hive.