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Chelsea among teams making inquiries for Lille striker Jonathan David — report

In demand

Lille OSC v AJ Auxerre - French Cup Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

In a league where the likes of Kylian Mbappé and Neymar play, often against vastly inferior opposition, the top two goalscorers are a journeyman striker long overlooked and a rising talent who’s yet to be truly discovered.

The former is Wissam Ben Yedder, 31, who’s scored at least 15 goals in each of his last ten seasons (Ligue 1 and La Liga), but has hardly registered on the international radar. The other, and the one whom this story concerns, is Jonathan David, recently turned 22, and well on his way to setting a new career high for goals scored in a season. Perhaps more impressively, the young man has yet to score fewer than 13 goals in all competitions in any one of his four seasons (including the current one) as a senior professional.

Last season, David was only the third highest scoring player on Lille as they beat PSG to a most surprising French league title. This season, he’s now the main man, with Burak Yilmaz suddenly feeling his age and both Yusuf Yazici and Jonathan Ikoné gone in the winter transfer window. Unsurprisingly, Lille are not doing nearly as well as last year — though they have recovered from an atrocious start that saw them win just 4 of their first 15 games — but David is starting to turn heads among Europe’s big teams.

According to Canada’s TSN, the New York City-born but Ottawa-raised future star of Haitian descent has fielded inquiries form Barcelona, Tottenham, and Chelsea, while the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool have all been linked as well. The report claims that it is “increasingly likely” that David will be moving on from Lille in the summer, even with three years still left on his contract, and while they do not venture a guess at a transfer fee, other reports have claimed fees as low as £30m and as high as £50m.

Mostly a center forward or support striker by trade, the Canada international may not be an immediately obvious fit or need at Chelsea, but as his agent made it clear recently, he will go to whoever can offer him the best project and chance at glory.

“[He would] benefit from a summer move. The questions that we ask clubs are simple: What’s the project [club ambition]?

“There are a lot of questions that we go through when we meet with a club, and the one that checks the most boxes will be the one that will be [David’s] next destination.”

-Nick Mavromaras, source: TSN

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