Canadian starlet Jonathan David on the radar of Europe’s elite

Jonathan David, KAA Gent (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)
Jonathan David, KAA Gent (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images) /

The 20-year old Gent star led Belgium’s top-flight with 18 goals in just 27 domestic appearances while also netting five goals in 13 Europa League outings…

It’s been a rapid rise to prominence for one of the world’s most exciting young talents, but it’s safe to say that Jonathan David has earned the reputation as a clinical finisher and playmaker. In just his second season playing professional football, the 20-year old Canadian absolutely lit up the Jupiler Pro League, opening up the eyes of numerous European clubs.

Thanks to his ruthless abilities in the final third, many Bundesliga clubs; and even some English sides; have taken notice of Jonathan David’s talents. Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, and Bayern Munich, among other German teams, have shown interest in David, while Arsenal and Everton have also kept close tabs on the Canadian starlet.

Bleacher Report even rated the phenom as one of the top ten youngsters to watch ahead of this summer’s transfer window, putting him in the exclusive company among some of Europe’s hottest up and comers. The thing that is so unique about David is the fact that Gent was his first destination as a pro.

Sure, it’s not a top-five league, but he arrived in 2018 as an 18-year old and smashed home 14 goals and tallied four assists in his debut season. To put up those type of numbers just months after his arrival as a teen speaks to his character and maturity as a footballer.

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Then this past season, he bettered his form from the previous year by leading Belgium with 18 league goals. It’s evident that David has nothing left to prove with Gent and as he voiced recently, he’s eager for a move to the Bundesliga.

Germany could very well be the perfect destination for the 20-year old because, like many players before, the league has a history of developing youngsters into absolute stars. With the type of potential that David currently has, a place like Borussia Dortmund or Leipzig could be a logical fit.

Versatility on the attack

Jonathan David mostly played as a number ten this season behind two strikers where he served as both a goal-scorer and a playmaker. Along with his impressive amount of tallies, he also handed out seven assists this term, proving to be much more than just a pure finisher. David currently profiles as either an attacking midfielder or a striker, but it’s still unknown where his best fit lies.

At just 5 foot 10, he’s got a solid lower half in which he uses to his advantage when protecting the ball from opponents. His eye for a pass could very well be just as special as his ability to put the ball in the back of the net, making David the full package as an elite attacker.

An area where many young players struggle is slowing the game down at it’s fastest moments. Again, he just finished his second professional season. Yet, Jonathan David is extremely good at doing just this. He remains composed at the most important times, whether it’s waiting for the perfect moment to feed a teammate a through ball or use his exceptional pace to take on a defender and finish.

He’s an extremely physical player for his age and seldom gets out-muscled in one on one situations, a trait that will be very important as he moves on to a better league such as the Bundesliga.

The youngster has a tremendous right foot, but it’s been his positioning on the attack that’s led to most of his goals. He possesses a high football IQ, always reading the play as it builds up by getting in the best possible position to smash goals in.

David looks to be suited best in a central position, but in my opinion, it wouldn’t be an awful decision to have him play out wide as one of the front three because of his pace and dribbling abilities. But given his wonderful first touch and pure skill in the final third, he could excel at any attacking position.

Stepping stone club is a must for Jonathan David

There have been rumours spiralling that David could replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Arsenal, which would be some gigantic shoes to fit. But even though the 20-year old is built for the Premier League with the necessary physicality and scoring touch, the time is not now.

Although he’s bagging goals at an extremely high rate, it’s pivotal that David gets meaningful minutes at a club like Dortmund or Leipzig in where he can perfect his craft and face some better competition.

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A couple of seasons at a Bundesliga side will do wonders for his growth but after that, he can eye a move to England’s top-flight. David would currently cost just 22 million euros, which is quite the bargain considering his wide array of talents.

Remember the name Jonathan David. Because at this rate, he could be one of the most lethal finishers on the globe in the near future.