Lille signs Canadian soccer star Jonathan David

Jonathan David (Twitter)

Jonathan David of Ottawa, Ontario has signed with Lille of Ligue 1, the top soccer league in France, according to the Associated Press on Tuesday. The signing is a record deal that sees David being transferred to Lille for 30 million euros, the highest transfer ever for a Canadian soccer player.

David, a forward, was the co-leader in goals this past season in the Belgian First Division while playing for Gent. With 18 goals, he was tied with Antwerp striker Dieumerci Mbokani of Kinshasa, Zaire. Even though Mbokani was born in Zaire, he represents The Congo internationally.

On four occasions this past season, David had a multi-goal game. He scored twice in a 3-2 Gent win over Cercle Brugge on September 1, 2019, twice in a 3-1 Gent win over Mouscron on January 18, 2020, twice in a 3-2 win over KAS Eupen on February 14, 2020, and a hat trick in a 4-1 Gent win over Sint-Truiden on February 23. David was also third in the Belgian First Division with eight assists.

Gent finished second in the Belgian First Division in 2019-20 with a record of 16 wins, six losses, and seven draws for 55 points. They were 15 points back off the league-leading Club Brugge.

Lille meanwhile finished fourth in Ligue 1 with 49 points. Due to the fact Lille did not finish in the top three in Ligue 1 this past year, David will not play in the Champions League next season, and only the Europa League.

The previous record for the highest transfer of a Canadian soccer player was Alophonso Davies of Edmonton, Alberta. Davies moved from the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer to Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga for $29.25 million in July of 2018. For Team Canada, David now has 11 goals in 12 international games.


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