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Assessing where to next for Jonathan David

A transfer is imminent, but where could the Iceman end up?

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Jonathan David in World Cup qualifying action against the United States at Tim Hortons Field.
Photo by Sean Pollock/Waking The Red

Not in anyone’s shadow

Jonathan David is a name Canadian soccer fans have become well aware of over the past two years or so. Alphonso Davies is certainly the face of Canadian men’s soccer, but David has been making his own waves, especially since his move to LOSC Lille in the summer of 2020.

After a disappointing start to his time in France, David’s form at the end of the 2020/21 Ligue 1 season helped his new club claim a historic Ligue 1 championship. David scored six goals in his last 11 matches to help Lille leapfrog the mighty Paris Saint Germain in the table. It was David’s goal in a gutsy 1-0 win over Paris on matchday 31 that bumped Lille into first-place, ahead of their title rivals. Les Dogues wouldn’t let their advantage slip as they went on to win their first league title since 2011.

Following a strong finish to last season, David hit the ground running in 2021/22. The Ottawa native netted 12 goals in the first 19 matches of the current Ligue 1 campaign and currently sits fifth in the league’s goalscoring charts, with 13 goals in 29 games. David also found the back of the net three times in the Champions League group stage.

David has been a different force when representing his country. He has pitched in five goals and three assists during the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying as Canada sits atop the Octagon, with a spot in Qatar all but guaranteed. The Iceman now has 20 goals in 27 appearances for his country. Just ridiculous.

David’s importance to his national team was on full display during the most recent international window when Canada were without their usual talisman Davies. David’s beautiful goal in San Pedro Sula, neat assist in Hamilton, and chipped finish in San Salvador were crucial, as Canada collected nine points from three matches sans Davies.

Off the back of a strong individual start to the Ligue 1 season and impressive displays for Canada, David’s stock continues to rise. With Lille looking to sell, top teams will be eager to pounce on David during the next transfer window. Speaking to Radio Canada, David’s agent Nick Mavromaras stated, “I think the Premier League is a great option for him. I think he likes Spain a lot too because he likes the feel of the ball and the very technical players. These two leagues are a big priority for him, but we are not ruling anything out. You never know, with Paris Saint-Germain or the big Italian clubs.”

Let’s take a look at these options, assessing each club’s situation, and where David might fit best.


The Wildcards

Paris Saint-Germain - Lille fans look away. With Kylian Mbappe looking like a soon-to-be Galactico, and the future of Mauro Icardi up in the air, PSG might be in the market for a striker in the summer transfer window. From a Parisian perspective, why wouldn’t you go after a proven goalscorer in Ligue 1? David will likely want a new challenge in a new league, but it can be hard to say no when a club with pockets as deep as PSG’s comes calling.

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-PSG-LILLE Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund - The money from the Erling Haaland sale will have to go somewhere right? The Norwegian’s inevitable departure will leave a hole in the Dortmund starting lineup which David could fill. Though they are consistently competing in the Champions League, David might want to join a club with loftier ambitions. How great would David vs Davies in Der Klassiker be though!

FC Barcelona - David had been linked with the Catalonian club in January, but after the arrivals of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ferran Torres, that move now seems unlikely. If one of Memphis Depay or Martin Braithwaite are shipped out in the offseason however, David may be an interesting addition to Xavi Hernandez’s improving side. He would give Barcelona a different type of option at striker.

Real Madrid - It seems likely that a star forward will join Los Blancos sooner rather than later following a few unusually pragmatic transfer windows from Real Madrid. If they are unable to sign Mbappe or Haaland, David may be a backup option for the Spanish behemoths. The white and gold shirt can weigh heavy on young shoulders though, just ask Luka Jovic. Is David ready for this type of move and the insane pressure it comes with?

Newcastle United - Money talks. With Callum Wilson and Chris Wood leading the line for the the richest club in football, Newcastle’s new owners might look to make a splash for a more noteworthy striker. David to Newcastle would get Geordies truly excited following a teasing January window. Securing his signature would truly signal the start of a new era for the Toon.

West Ham United - Hammers attacker Michail Antonio has himself asked for striking reinforcements after carrying the goalscoring load this campaign. Reinforcements didn’t come in January, so West Ham will want to buy a forward in the summer if they hope to finish in the European places next season. David would suit the counterattacking style that David Moyes has developed during his time at the club, given how he is being used for Lille and Canada.

Chelsea FC - If Lukaku’s future remains elsewhere, Chelsea will yet again be looking for a striker. Timo Werner doesn’t appear to be the answer, and Kai Havertz as a false-nine is likely not the longterm solution. Maybe David could be the man to finally put an end to Chelsea’s issues up top? Following the sanctions put on Roman Abramovich, Chelsea’s ownership situation will have to be sorted before they start thinking about their transfer shortlist.

FBL-EUR-C1-CHELSEA-LILLE Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Inter Milan - Like Antonio Conte who came before him, current Inter boss Simone Inzaghi loves a front two, so David might feel at home playing alongside someone like Edin Dzeko after linking up with Burak Yilmaz at Lille. With forwards Lautaro Martinez, Joaquin Correa, Alexis Sanchez, and Felipe Caicedo also on the books, someone will have to be sold for David to be brought in. Perhaps David could be purchased if Inter cash in on Martinez.


The Favourites

Tottenham Hotspur - Tottenham’s plans for this coming transfer window rely on whether or not Harry Kane ends up leaving North London following his 2021 transfer saga. If Kane leaves, David may be brought in to be the new focal point of the attack. If Kane stays put though, David could potentially play alongside the England captain in Conte’s favoured 3-5-2. Signing a quality attacker like David might be in Tottenham’s best interest as outside of Kane and Son Heung-Min, no Spurs player has scored more than two goals in the Premier League this season. They should be desperate for some more fire power.

Arsenal FC - A move to the Gunners almost makes too much sense. Aubameyang is gone, and the contracts of Arsenal’s other strikers, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah, are set to expire. After missing out on Dusan Vlahovic in January, Arsenal will be ready to recruit a forward come the summertime. David would be a great focal point for young talents Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli to play off of. Mikel Arteta seems to have found his footing as Arsenal boss, and if his side are able to qualify for the Champions League, Arsenal will be a serious option for the Canadian to consider.

AC Milan - Though Zlatan Ibrahimovic is an ageless wonder, he is enduring another injury-riddled campaign for the Rossoneri, and has yet to re-up for another season. Olivier Giroud has had his moments for his new team, but he turns 36 in 2022. Milan must prepare for life after Ibrahimovic and Giroud, and David should be one of the names considered to freshen up the forward department. Milan and Lille seem to have a good working relationship as both Mike Maignan and Rafael Leao have signed for Milan from the French club in recent years. This connection could help get a deal done between the two clubs.


Adam’s Pick

Liverpool FC - A move to the red half of Merseyside seems like the ideal scenario for David if Liverpool’s interest in the Canadian is genuine. Having the chance to develop under a manager of Jurgen Klopp’s pedigree would be huge for David as he enters the prime of his career.

A path to consistent playing time wouldn’t be an impossible task at Liverpool, as Roberto Firmino’s grasp of a starting role has weakened this season. With Divock Origi likely leaving in the summer, David could definitely have a spot in Liverpool’s matchday squad.

David is a smart player who links up well with others. He doesn’t have the same technical quality as Firmino, but he can come deep to receive the ball to start attacks, or use his physicality to act as a target man up top to hold the ball up for advancing wingers. These are qualities Klopp would expect to see in his starting striker, and David could tick those boxes.

From Liverpool’s point of view, securing more attacking talents should be a goal given the uncertain futures of Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane. Klopp will want assurances from the club that there is a plan in place in case these players leave.

Let us know down below where you think Jonathan David should go!