Canada’s Jonathan David is announcing himself as world-class — the English Premier League ‘dream’ is calling
Updated March 13
What is there left to say about Jonathan David?
The Canadian men’s national team star is in the form of his life and is putting the entire world on notice that CanMNT has another genuine world superstar in the making on its hands. The latest spectacular announcement came on Friday with a hat-trick in a 3-3 draw with Lyon that made him the first Lille player to score three goals or more in a Ligue 1 game since Nicolas Pépé four-and-a-half years ago.
The stats behind his form and his season are remarkable and are so numerously impressive that they require handpicking to avoid labouring the point.
David now has 19 goals in Ligue 1 this season, a total that is the joint-best in the French top flight, level with superstar Kylian Mbappé and three ahead of any other challenger.
In 2023, the Ottawa-raised attacker has 12 goals in 13 games, eight of which have come in his last seven games. In Ligue 1, he has netted 10 since the turn of the year, making him the top scorer in the five major European leagues in 2023.
Speaking of Europe’s top five leagues, over the course of the entire season so far, only Erling Haaland has scored more than him.
And, David’s 19 Ligue 1 goals this term are his best return of league goals in a single season in his career despite the fact he has only played 26 games so far in a 38-games-per-season division.
The 23-year-old is now also Lille’s outright top goalscorer in the 21st century. He has now scored 53 goals for LOSC in 125 games, eclipsing Belgium legend Eden Hazard’s total of 50 in 194 matches.
David said after the game that to break Hazard’s Lille scoring record “is a bit surreal for me” as he has admired Hazard for a long time. “This isn’t something I set out to do, but it feels great,” he said, per Sky Sports. “I have a lot of respect for Eden Hazard as a player, and to have broken his record here at home is very special.”
Related read: Jonathan David stepping up again with scintillating Lille form after CanMNT World Cup disappointment
And Hazard sent the Canadian a message post-match, in which he revealed that the CanMNT star told him at the World Cup in Qatar that he would soon beat his scoring record.
“Congratulations on your goals, my friend,” said the highly-decorated 32-year-old. “You beat me! You told me you were going to beat me when we met for Belgium vs. Canada, so there you go! Super happy for you.”
David, who has 22 goals in 38 appearances for Canada, has transformed from a regular scorer in the Belgian league with Gent to a semi-prolific attacker in France to now surely undeniable status as one of the best goalscorers in European football.
Don’t forget he’s not only a centre-forward; he can also play anywhere along the front line. He’s scoring more, creating more chances, keeping the ball better, putting more responsibility on his shoulders – in short, he’s consistently producing better results now than ever before.
Let’s make no bones about it here: at the age of just 23, still years off what should be the peak of his career, the Canadian is entering the “world-class” bracket.
What’s next? Naturally, more links to a transfer to other leagues, including the English Premier League, which increasingly seems his inevitable destination sooner rather than later.
David had already said in recent months that “I don’t know if I can find myself anywhere other than the Premier League.”
And while he insisted that he is not looking beyond Lille’s next game and their fight to earn a UEFA Champions League spot, he said after Friday’s hat-trick heroics, per Fabrizio Romano, that “Saturday mornings growing up in Canada were about the Premier League and La Liga. The Premier League and La Liga are every kid’s dream.”
He added, per Sky Sports: “My future? Focused on getting this great club back to Europe where it belongs. The rest will come. Premier League? One of the best leagues in the world, why not?”
He’s been linked with the EPL countless times already – Manchester United, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Newcastle – and there has also been talk that clubs in other leagues such as RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain might be sniffing around.
Ultimately, it seems that every club that thinks they may be able to afford what is sure to be a soaringly high transfer fee wants a piece of the man who has established himself firmly as yet another world-class Canadian footballer.
And why wouldn’t they? If you’re good enough, you’re good enough.