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Official: Canadian Jonathan David completes record-breaking transfer to French side Lille

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Canadian striker Jonathan David put the world on notice over the last two seasons and is now headed to Ligue 1.

Canadian international Jonathan David’s long-anticipated transfer saga is expected to come to an end next week, when he makes the move to Ligue 1’s Lille.
(Martin Bazyl/Canada Soccer)

Canadian striker Jonathan David put the world on notice over the last two seasons and is now headed to Ligue 1.

According to TSN’s Kristian Jack, French side Lille offered a fee of €30 million to KAA Gent for the 20-year-old’s services, the largest ever transfer fee for a Canadian player.

Despite the massive amount of money, David should be expected to rise to the occasion under the pressure of the fee. Scoring 37 goals in his first 83 games for Gent, the Ottawa native has attracted interest from clubs all around Europe. Arsenal, Manchester United, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, and RB Leipzig are just a few of the world-beaters that were interested in adding the Canuck to the roster.

Lille looks to have won the race for David, as they hope to insert him into the team as their most expensive signing. In fact, this acquisition could be the best situation from a number of ends.

When David was first placed on the transfer market, he made it clear that he wanted to head to a club that would continue to allow him to grow.

For a striker that has an immense goals-per-game ratio already, consistency in playtime is of utmost importance. Larger clubs may not be able to offer the same minutes as Lille, and with the amount they are willing to spend—the most in club history—it is clear that he will definitely be a crucial player whilst there.

‘Les Dogues’ are not afraid of playing and growing youngsters that, in the past, have gone on to bigger clubs when they reach near their full potential. Eden Hazard, Nicolas Pepe, and Gervinho are just some names of stars that have risen through their ranks. Additionally, Lille sold their main striker Victor Osimhen to Napoli this summer, leaving a spot in the team for David to walk into.

When he eventually meets his teammates, David will join an exciting group of players, two of those being Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches and American striker Timothy Weah. The former struck a quick friendship with David’s Canadian national teammate Alphonso Davies whilst playing for Bayern Munich in 2019.

Manchester United youngster Angel Gomes also recently joined Lille, but he has been loaned out to Boavista through the 2020/21 season.

Lille will feature in next season’s UEFA Europa League after finishing fourth this past season, which was cut short due to COVID-19.

Look out for the official announcement from the club at some point next week.