May 17, 2024

Jonathan David was one of the hottest names during the most recent summer transfer window. The Canadian, scorer of 24 goals last season with Lille, was in the sights of many top European clubs – including Milan – who had identified him as the ideal reinforcement for their attack.

However, the 23-year-old decided to stay in France, rejecting the offers and contract renewal proposed to him by his club, to whom he is linked until 2025. A few months on and the links between Milan and David have not gone away, but his goalscoring touch has for the time being.

David has certainly had more experiences than most others at his age. Born in Brooklyn, United States, he moved to his parents’ country of Haiti when he was still a baby and then immigrated to Ottawa – the capital of Canada – at the age of six.

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The forward played for several local youth clubs before moving to Belgium in 2018, where he made his senior debut at Gent and established himself as a hot property. Two years on he went to Lille, with whom he has won the Ligue 1 title and one Trophée des Champions.

After 13 and 15-goal season in the league, last year was his best return yet as he netted 24 times (adding four assists) to make the top clubs around Europe take note.

A disappointing follow-up

When young players emerge and find themselves in the crosshairs of big clubs they are faced with a dilemma: stay and continue to develop in a comfortable environment then move on when mature, or take the leap now to avoid the risk of stagnating.

This applied to David, and he might just be reflecting on his decision to remain in France given that he has two goals in 12 games in Ligue 1 so far in 2023-24, which is way behind where many expected him to be despite the fact Les Dogues are in fourth place.

His performances have been criticised by the media and fans, who accused him of lacking motivation and perhaps of not pushing the club to cash in on his sale last summer.

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