In his third season at Lille, Jonathan David is in the form of his life, to the point of wowing Kylian Mbappé and Neymar in League 1.
Jonathan David didn’t need Goliath to make a name for himself in Lille. Arriving in northern France in the summer of 2020, the New York-born Canadian is essential this season as the serial Scorer – and sometimes the handyman – of LOSC. He is still eagerly awaited this Sunday evening against Monaco (8.45 p.m., Prime Video). Back to an element that confirms this season.
David walks on water
Right in the bathroom, Jonathan David, just 22 years old, fits perfectly into the Lille system in his first season. Usually used as a second striker alongside Burak Yilmaz, the Brooklyn-born North American gets along well with his Turkish sidekick. In Ligue 1, the Canadian fell 13 times in 37 games in his debut season.
A first season that will lead him to the French Champion title with LOSC, most notably ten years after the Mastiffs were last crowned. Before doubling with the Champions Trophy a few weeks later. The young striker is already forging a record. Passed over by two clubs in Ottawa in his youth, Jonathan David showed himself at La Gantoise between 2018 and 2020. After scoring 37 goals in 83 games, the forward crossed the line on August 11, 2020.
I have players behind me who are doing a very good job, who give me the best conditions so that I can score.
Jonathan David at AFP
For his third season with Lille, the Canada international – 34 selections, 22 goals at just 22! – Hit harder. Nine goals and two assists in eleven French league games. The Canadian is the second-best scorer in Ligue 1 after eleven days, behind Kylian Mbappé and ahead of Neymar. Excuse me a little!
Blooms under Fonseca
This season, Jonathan David has been crucial every 89 minutes in Ligue 1 and has been a strong man for Paulo Fonseca.
Ahead of Monaco’s reception this Sunday, the Lille forward also praised his coach, who arrived this summer, in an interview with AFP. “We work a lot more tactically, we work each game in its own way and not just for a day or two, all week. He lets us work on all points so that we arrive ready on the day of the game. The coach wants us to play, that we always have the courage to play even in the most difficult times.»
Jonathan David, who has scored more than half of Lille’s goals this season (52%), doesn’t want to put himself too much in the spotlight and prefers to insist on the collective. “I have players behind me who are doing a very good job, who give me the best conditions so that I can score. I work a lot on the last gesture because you never know if you’ll have one or more chances in a match, so I try to focus to do well..”
A squad that has changed this season and lives well together, far from the club’s extra-sporting and legal affairs, assures the Canadian forward. “On have a lot of fun, we never take the lead. We try, but we are always in a good mood. We all have a common goal, so let’s all pull together.»
Still in line but more versatile
Under the Portuguese coach’s guidance, the Canadian has continued to develop since the start of the school year. Jonathan David mostly works in the center on his style of play.It’s true that versatility is important. That means you’re not limited to one position and that’s good for me, the team and the coach. Playing behind the attackers in La Gantoise was crucial, it helped me a lot and allowed me to develop more aspects in my game to be more complete.»
During his two seasons in Belgium, Jonathan David most often played in an attacking midfield role, behind two attackers, in a system that approximated a 4-4-2 diamond. Since arriving in France, the former La Gantoise player has taken it up a notch. Alone in the front line, as a double turner or sometimes as a second striker who revolves around a surface fox profile.
We can be very proud of that, especially since it’s been 36 years since we qualified. I don’t know how I’ll feel, but it’s definitely going to be special.
The striker has only been moved to the right flank once this season, on Matchday 2 against Nantes. Otherwise, Jonathan David always occupies the axis. Mostly alone. The Canadian was to associate Mohamed Bayo, but the latter was removed from the group at the end of August for disciplinary reasons. Because the former Clermontois is content with crumbs in Ligue 1: 42 minutes of play since August 31. Paulo Fonseca also recognizes this: “Mohamed Bayo works well. His problem right now is Jonathan David. He’s in great shape. But Mohamed Bayo is focused and waiting for his moment.»
Jonathan David is eagerly awaited again against Monaco. Should he score, he would join Kylian Mbappé as the championship’s top scorer. Several goals would see the former Ottawa alone take the lead in this ranking, who will play his first World Cup with Canada in a few days. “We can be very proud of that, especially since it’s been 36 years since we qualified. I don’t know how I’ll feel, but it’s definitely going to be special.»
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