Jonathan David, Lille
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Jonathan David, leading the charge for Lille and Canada

Publish on 14/10/2021 at 22:25

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Jonathan David has top-scored for LOSC with six goals this season, and has Canada on the cusp of a first FIFA World Cup since 1986, but what else is there to know about the free-scoring forward?

Already a Ligue 1 Uber Eats champion with Lille, David was outscored by Burak Yilmaz last season - 16 goals to 13 - while the veteran Turkish striker also had three more assists than his Canadian colleague as les Dogues ended a 10-year wait for the title.

 

Few at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy or beyond had been able to keep up with the 21-year-old this term, though. David's six league goals mean he is top of the pile alongside Stade Rennais FC's Gaëtan Laborde domestically; and the same tally in CONCACAF qualifying has his nation on the cusp of a first World Cup in 36 years...

 

Back story:

 

Born in Brooklyn, New York to Haitian parents in January 2000, David and his family returned to their homeland before settling in Ottawa, Canada when the youngster was six. Attending a Francophone public school, David was never taken with ice hockey or other sports more closely associated with North America; soccer, and it's old-world variety, more his cup of tea.

 

His dream of playing professionally in Europe was realised in 2018, when Belgian Jupiler Pro League outfit KAA Gent acquired him from Ottawa Internationals. Thirty-seven goals and 15 assists from 83 games later as LOSC made him the most expensive Canadian player of all time when they signed him at the start of 2020/21.

 

Style of play:

 

A powerfully-built 5'9" forward, David spent some of his career in Belgium playing in midfield, making his numbers in his time at Gent all the more impressive. He was tested throughout the final third across his first season in France, but has settled into a central striking role alongside Yilmaz since the turn of the year. David's link-up play is a particular strength, whilst his ability to finish off both feet makes him difficult to second guess for opposition defenders.

 

Current campaign:

 

Lille had a stuttering start to the season, as did David, club and player initially struggling to adapt to OGC Nice-bound Christophe Galtier's successor as coach, Jocelyn Gourvennec. David opened his account in Round 4's 2-1 win over Montpellier Hérault SC, though, and he hasn't looked back since. His five subsequent goals have come in the last three games - victories over Stade de Reims, RC Strasbourg Alsace and Olympique de Marseille - scored at a rate of one every 52 minutes he has played in that time.

 

Watch: David bags a brace as Lille beat Marseille

 

 

What they said:

 

"I had only one goal: to get to Europe. Football was a small sport in Canada for a long time - you could measure that from the media attention - but it's gradually changing. We actually need a qualification for a World Cup to popularise football, because it's mainly football freaks who follow us."

 

- David on popularising football in Canada.

 

"I want a club that has real confidence in me. A club with ambition, but at the same time will allow me to continue taking my game to a higher level. I like people who are not afraid to tell me the truth, and people with sincere intentions for me and my family."

 

- David on swapping Gent for Lille.