Jonathan David: 7 Things to Know About Gent’s Canadian Wonderkid Linked With Arsenal

​Gent’s Jonathan David is quickly becoming one of European football’s most in-demand strikers ahead of the summer transfer window.

The 20-year-old is the top goalscorer in Belgium’s top flight this season, and he’s already established himself at international level with Canada.

Arsenal, Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Inter are among a group of teams across the continent who have been tracking David’s progress this season, with the youngster expected to be on the move once the transfer window re-opens.

So before he makes that move, here’s seven things you’ll want to know about the Canada international…

New York, Haiti & Canada


David might play his international football for Canada, but the 20-year-old was actually born in Brooklyn, New York. That’s in America, in case you weren’t sure. The United States of them. 

At three months only, David moved to Haiti – both his parents are from the Caribbean island, which borders the Dominican Republic – but aged six his family left Port-au-Prince and emigrated to Canada.

Attending a French-speaking school, David actually says his time at the Louis-Riel. public school has had a huge part to play in his success. Interestingly, David never watched Canadian football – or even Major League Soccer – as he was so focused on pursuing a career in Europe.

He Only Moved to Europe in 2018

Friendly"PAOK Saloniki v KAA Gent"

Starting to play football aged 10, David spent eight years playing in Canada – his three clubs in North America were all based in Ottowa – before joining Gent on a free transfer.

Arriving in Belgium in January 2018, the 20-year-old has already made 92 senior appearances for club and country during his short career.

International Records

Jonathan David

David made his international debut for Canada in August 2018, but in his first full calendar year for his country, the then-teenager scored a record number of goals.

He scored against French Guiana and Cuba in the CONCACAF Nations League, but it was David’s six goals at the Gold Cup last year – he finished as the competition’s top goalscorer – which helped him set a new record for international goals scored by a Canadian in one year. 

Canada’s 4th Top Goalscorer Ever

Jonathan David

Despite only making 12 international appearances in his career, David is already Canada’s fourth-highest goalscorer of all time.

With 11 international goals to his name already, David is only behind Ali Gerba (15), Tosaint Ricketts (17) and Dwayne de Rosario (19). Whaaaaaaaaaat?

He’ll Set a New Belgian Transfer Record

Jonathan David

With David tipped to leave Gent in the near future, the Canada international is expected to be sold for a fee in the region of €25m – matching Belgium’s top flight transfer record.

But Gent’s manager Miche Lowagie told Nieuwsblad: “We don’t need the money. If you want to win titles you can’t sell your best players all the time. We will not let David leave for €20m or even €25m.”

The club’s director of football Michel Louwagie has also confirmed that Gent rejected league-record offers for David during the January transfer window.

He Could Become Gent’s All-Time Top Goalscorer


With just two years under his belt at Gent, the 20-year-old could become the club’s all-time top goalscorer this season.

With 37 goals to his name already, he’s still some way behind teammate Laurent Depoitre (46) – remember him from Huddersfield? – but David still has three more games this season before the Pro League breaks for the playoffs.

Gent could also continue their run in this season’s Europa League, although they’ll need to overturn a one-goal deficit when they host AS Roma.

He Might Not Join a ‘Big Club’

Jonathan David

David has already been linked with a high-profile move to one of European football’s biggest clubs, but speaking about Arsenal’s interest specifically, his agent Nick Mavromaras says moving to north London could be ‘a step too big’ for him at this stage of his career.

Mavromaras said: “The Belgian league is fantastic for young players, but the moment for the next step arrives and this will come in the summer. His final target is to play for one of the five best clubs in the world. But for now, we have to stay humble. The next step in his career can’t be too big.

For example, Arsenal. There we speak about the top five in the Premier League. The next step has to be an intelligent one. There, this would possibly be a step too big at the moment.”

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