JONATHAN DAVID, THE CANADIAN TALISMAN KEEPING LILLE AFLOAT THIS SEASON AND EYEING A PREMIER LEAGUE MOVE
Jonathan David has been making headlines ever since he joined Lille last summer and has brought a positive change to the struggling Lille side this season. Despite having a poor start to their campaign, the Ligue 1 defending champions have pulled themselves back and with their last 3 domestic games slowly progressing up the league table.
In their last game, they won 2-0 against Marseille and both goals were discord by none other than the young Jonathan David. The player has adapted well to their new system under Jocelyn Gourvennec. Here’s everything you need to know about Jonathan David, Lille’s new rising star about to make it big in Europe.
FROM HAITI TO LIGUE 1 CHAMPION
Jonathan has had an interesting childhood. Who would have thought a kid born in New York and grown up in Haiti would play on one of the biggest football clubs in Europe. He started playing football at the age of 6 when he moved to Ottawa, Canada and has now become among the first names in their National squad and is dubbed by their supporters as the ‘Canadian Pearl’.
He started playing professional football at a youth club at the age of 10 and from there he rose through the ranks of the local leagues and in 2018, his performances earned him a place in Belgium’s Gent club. Playing football in Europe is all that Jonathan has ever wanted ever since he got into the sport and hence he pounced upon the opportunity and never looked back. His solid performances in Belgium earned him a transfer to Lille in January 2020 for a whooping transfer fee of around £25 Million and he has taken Ligue 1 by storm.
JONATHAN DAVID’S CONTRIBUTION IN LILLE’S TITLE RACE
Jonathan David joined Lille in the summer transfer period of 2020 when Lille were recovering from a disappointing previous season and hence it was quite unexpected the way Kovac added Jonathan David in the thick of it at the start of the season despite him being a player who hasn’t played such level of football before.
Initially, Jonathan struggled a lot with his performances but he picked up on Lille’s way of football in the latter half of the season. In just 29 appearances in the starting lineup, his performances in the last few months of the league since February gave Lille the boost that enabled them to steal the League title right under PSG and Monaco’s noses.
He scored 13 goals that season and even in their last game against Angers, he scored the title-winning goal which pushed them 1 point past PSG. Jonathan David wins matches for Lille and that is all a manager can ask for from his frontline. He actively participates in the link-up play having started his career as an attacking midfielder and it is no secret that Jonathan knows how to beat goalkeepers.
LILLE’S MAN IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Lille had a horrendous start to their new season under their new coach, Jocelyn Gourvennec. They failed to register a win in the first 3 games which caused them a downfall to the lower mid table. Although their overall team hasn’t shown the best display, the 24-year-old Jonathan David hasn’t let that affect his personal form. The player has scored 6 goals so far and has had an Xg (Expected Goals) of 0.86 and he is only their second striker. This is a testament to how fierce he can be in any position given how fluid his game is.
He makes 1.28 goal scoring chances and has 2.27 attempts per game, he is the complete attacking monster that can lead Lille to great things. Jonathan is yet to make an impact in the group stages of the Champions League and if he finds his stride in Europe as well, Lille won’t have any trouble qualifying to the knockout stages. The player aims to play in one of the giant clubs of Europe and Lille is the perfect place for him to polish his skills and became a sensational transfer target.
Players like Rafael Leao, Nicolas Pepe and Victor Osimhen have all been picked up from Lille and Jonathan David might soon make it to the list with Liverpool being one of the interested parties for his signature.