How Jonathan David's Exceptional Time at Lille Could Fire Canada to Glory

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How Jonathan David's Exceptional Time at Lille Could Fire Canada to Glory
© USA Today

Jonathan David has rapidly established himself as Canada’s main man heading into its first World Cup in 36 years. 

This sort of pressure used to fall on the shoulders of Alphonso Davies, but injuries left him off the Canada squad and in the physio room at Bayern Munich for much of 2022. Now, David heads into the World Cup as his country’s brightest spark.

Here, we run through his exceptional past two years in France and how this can work wonders for Canada at World Cup 2022 in Qatar this November.

The Ligue 1 Title Win

Lille shocked the world when they edged ahead of Paris Saint-Germain to touch the Ligue 1 title in 2021. 

David had to settle for a secondary role in the goalscoring department that season, as Burak Yilmaz went on to 16 league goals. However, despite not being the main striker, the 22-year-old still managed to bag 13 goals in Ligue 1.

Better yet, it was his overall play as a striker that caught the eye, because if David was not scoring, he was holding the ball up to allow for Yilmaz to run in behind and score, as he also secured three assists in Ligue 1 that year.

In the famous title-winning campaign for Lille, David also scored some monumental goals. Two goals against giants Marseille sealed all three points for Lille back on week 28, while a must-win game against PSG saw David score the winning goal with an effort after 20 minutes. 

The Canadian striker also did the same against Monaco earlier in the season, while David's two goals against Lyon in the race for the title secured a 3-2 victory for Lille that all but wrapped up the trophy in France’s first division. 

Jonathan David World Cup Qualifying Stats


Jonathan David is Only Getting Better

After winning the title with Lille in 2020/21, it’s fair to assume David’s number of goals would significantly decrease the following year. 

However, with 13 goals scored in Ligue 1 in the title-winning year, the Canadian star went on to score 15 last season and has continued to prove his worth with two goals in three league games already.

What was more impressive about David’s efforts last season was how consistent he was. His 15 goals in 38 games meant that David's longest stretch without a goal in the league was just 10 games. 

He scored a goal at least every four matches, and only superstar players like Kylian Mbappe and Wissam Ben Yedder did better in France last season. 

David also scored three goals in the Champions League from eight fixtures in the last tournament, meaning no player from North America scored more in Europe’s elite competition than he did in 2021/22.

David's two goals this season in Ligue 1 came in the 4-1 win against Auxerre on the opening weekend in France, with a left-footed goal coming just before a right-footed effort. 

It once again puts him as the club’s top scorer early on, and with only 13 more needed to match his best-ever record in professional soccer in one season, it looks like David is only getting better ahead of the World Cup. 

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