Jonathan David - The Most Expensive Canadian Transfer to date
Unlike South America or Euorpe, it appears as if North America doesn’t produce anywhere near as many world class football (soccer) players, most of this can be put down to a lack of interest in the sport over the last century or so.
The eyes of Americans have been focused more on Basketball, Baseball, Football (American), and even Hockey, Hockey is incredibly huge in Canada. But over the last 10 to 20 years, Football has seen a massive growth in popularity in the United States. Though it’s true many of the
footballing nations consider theMLS
to be somewhat of a retirement league, it has attracted
big names in recent history. For many it’s the money and an excellent chance to win a title in their closing years, for others it’s the lifestyle change.
The fact remains, however, that players like David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Steven Gerrard playing in the MLS has drawn plenty of eyes to the league and in turn has increased interest from younger Americans, making more and more people want to play football ‘
when they grow up
’. Today we’re going to be talking about one of those youngsters, 23-year-old Canadian Jonathan David. David initially had his eyes drawn to the MLS before he began watching football from Europe instead, as he had no desire to play professionally within North America. With his favorite player being Ronaldinho, he found himself supporting Barcelona and Brazil.
Jonathan began his career with a local football team, the Gloucester Dragons, before joining Ottawa Gloucester SC, he played for their Hornets team between 2011-2015 before playing for the Ottawa Internationals between 2016-18. He credits youth coach Hanny El-Magraby with helping him achieve his dream of playing professional football in Europe. Before he signed a professional contract with Belgian side Gent in 2018, Jonathan had trials for FC Salzburg and VfB Stuttgart. Unfortunately, he was rejected by both of these teams. It would appear as if they missed out on a gem, however. Between 2018 and 2020, Jonathan David played a total of 83 games in all competitions for Gent scoring 37 goals which is a solid return for a striker's first few pro seasons.
After showing what he could do, Gent were approached by Ligue 1 outfitLille
who were interested in what Jonathan could offer. On 11th August 2020, Lille confirmed that they had reached an agreement to bring the French speaking Canadian Jonathan David to France for a reported fee of €30 million on a five-year contract. This transfer fee would make Jonathan David the most expensive Canadian transfer. It took him a little while to settle in Ligue 1, but he scored 13 goals in his first season in 37 appearances and has since gone from strength to strength. He netted 24 goals in 37 appearances in the 2022-23 season and at the time of writing, has 3 goals in 6 appearances in all competitions this season!
Jonathan David has recently been quoted saying he doesn’t find himself anywhere but the Premier League moving forward, so until the day somebody in England puts in a bid for him, it’s safe to say he’s likely going to be tearing it up for Lille for the foreseeable. But what could he bring to a Premier League team? According to a scouting report conducted byOpta Analyst
in April 2023, these are his biggest strengths! Firstly his movement, off the ball his movement wouldn’t be described as complete however he likes to drop a little bit deeper to receive the ball which allows for wingers to break forward, being fed the ball from him. If he could possibly add runs in behind the centre backs to his game he would likely add a few more goals to his tally.
His shooting has been his biggest strength however, for the 2022-23 season which is his highest goal tally to date, he netted 21 league goals from an expected 20.8 using Optas stats. He took 95 shots in 2651 minutes with 0.22xG per shot. His stats for last season ranked him in the 83rd percentile among forwards in Ligue 1 which isn’t bad at all considering the calibre of forward in that league.One of the things that sets Jonathan David aside from other strikers is his confidence with both feet. While it is true that his left is his weaker foot, 31.5% of his 95 shots last season came off his left foot.
Finally there’s his passing play. Jonathan has quickly became a confident passer of the ball, using his movement and dropping deep he tends to be a pivotal player when it comes to setting up the play moving forward. Bringing the wide players into the attack before moving up to the final third and rejoining the play. He has the ability to receive ground passes and he has a fantastic first touch with both feet. The only player in the league who has received more progressive passes than Jonathan Davids 278 is Kylian Mbappé with 279. Impressive indeed.
Jonathan David has established himself as one of the best young forwards in Ligue 1 over the last couple of seasons and you could only imagine that his transfer value has continued to rise, so with all of that being said, what is next for him? Will he get his dream move to the Premier League? Could he see himself playing for Barcelona, following in the footsteps of his boyhood idol, Ronaldinho? Or is something different entirely on the cards for him? To find out where his most likely destination is. I’m going to be taking a look at some bookmakers odds, while they aren’t always perfect with this, they do tend to be pretty close with their odds when it comes to predicting where players are likely to end up!
To do this we will be taking a look at some of the biggestCA Sports Betting
sites and comparing odds across the board to compile a list of where the experts think Jonathan David will be heading next. Although, it is worth pointing out that the summer transfer window has closed all across the world now, so if he is to make a move now, it will either be in January or it will be
summer. To start with, here is a list of teams Jonathan David has been linked with as well as the relevant odds tied to them.
● Tottenham Hotspur 2/1 (€5 stake = €15 return)
● Real Madrid 8/1 (€5 stake = €45 return)
● Manchester United 14/1 (€5 stake = €75 return)
● Arsenal 25/1 (€5 stake = €130 return)
Now to break down the list. To begin with is the reported transfer value. His status as the current most expensive Canadian transfer is set to be cemented for a while if Lille achieve their valuation which is reportedly €60 million. He has 2 years remaining on his 5 year deal where he is being paid €32,300 a week. So for a big team in the Premier League or La Liga, his wages wouldn’t be an issue at all. The real issue is whether a team would want to pay €60 million or wait until his contract is up at the end of the 24/25 season. So now we know the ins and outs of his situation, how likely is it that any of these clubs will be coming in for him?
For Tottenham Hotspur, it could be a no brainer honestly, this season they have been somewhat forced into playing Son Heung-min up front after losing Kane to Bayern Munich, but after receiving a reported €100 million for him, the fee would be justified, it’s whether he could fill the boots of the high scoring Kane at that point. Real Madrid is a less likely destination for sure, especially given his love for Ronaldinho and Barcelona as a youngster, while they do say loyalty in football is non-existent, I can’t imagine Real Madrid would be a priority destination for him.
Manchester United is definitely more likely than Real Madrid and honestly, their options in attack have been iffy at best. Though they have spent a good amount of money on Rasmus Hojlund this summer and they’ll be hoping he will be worth the €75 million fee. Arsenal are the last team on the list, they have been linked to him a few times over the last few seasons, but when Gabriel Jesus is fit and firing I doubt Jonathan David starts over him, not only that Arsenal have recently signed Kai Havertz, although the start to his Arsenal career hasn’t necessarily been an amazing one.
Now is the time for a few questions! Firstly, for Canadian football fans in general. How excited are you to see where Jonathan David peaks? He seems to be getting better and better every season right now and with players like Alphonso Davies in the team too, it’s an exciting time to be a Canadian football fan. Next up, for fans of Jonathan David in general, would you like to see him remain at Lille? Or is there another club you’d prefer to see him make a move to or a specific manager you’d like to see him develop under? Finally, since it’s his desired destination, this next question is forPremier League
fans. Are there any clubs in the Premier League that would be significantly improved by a player like Jonathan David? I think given his current run of form for club and country it’s inevitable that a Premier League team would eventually bid for him.
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