Why Canada's Jonathan David has PSG match circled ahead of potential move
Much has been made of Lille OSC's incredible 2020-21 Ligue1 campaign, one that saw Canadian international Jonathan David propel Les Dogues to dethroning Paris Saint-Germain en route to an unlikely French domestic title.
But, since the winds of yesterday have passed by, balance has seemingly been restored to French football once again.
Indeed, in the moments leading up to Lille's latest battle with the French giants, the prospect of victory isn't quite as assured as it may have been one year ago.
Mauricio Pochettino's PSG sits comfortably atop the French table, well clear of 2nd-placed OGC Nice.
Meanwhile, last year's champions Lille are firmly stuck in the middle of the pack over 23 matches. So, even if Lionel Messi is only slowly starting to find his feet France, and even in the absence of an injured Neymar and Sergio Ramos, Jocelyn Gourvennec's Lille will need to rely on some collective heroics to overcome this latest test.
Will success come off the foot of on-fire striker Jonathan David, though?
Asking for too much of Canadian star?
It's true that, with 12 goals to lead his team in scoring, Canadian striker Jonathan David is firmly listed among Gourvennec's preferred Starting XI.
But, having played three World Cup Qualifying matches for Les Rouges over the last 10 days - including travelling down to Honduras' San Pedro Sula and El Salvador's San Salvador on either end of a home foray vs. the United States in Hamilton, ON - it would be natural to assume David would be forced to take a bit of a breather for this massive match-up.
You can imagine that, if there is one single part of this campaign where an ask could be made to shoulder through, it would be now.
Starting a tired David may be a risk the team feels they must take in order to have their best chance at defeating PSG. And, David's penchant for scoring against PSG makes him an even more valuable asset for Les Dogues.
GOAL 🇨🇦— OneSoccer (@onesoccer) October 29, 2021
JONATHAN DAVID SCORES AGAINST PSG (again 😈)
It's 1-0 for Lille OSC as the #CanMNT striker taps in to punish the #Ligue1 giant at the half-hour mark 💪
📺 TELUS ch. 980 | 🔴 https://t.co/hishXepRT3 pic.twitter.com/U0QpN38v5r
... though, an equal argument could be made that Lille's title hopes have all but faded already, so why risk it?
Ultimately, David was given the start, though perhaps it wasn't only Gourvennec's call to make.
If given the choice... did David insist?
There is another factor to consider: Jonathan David may have insisted on starting for Lille OSC.
The 22-year-old went from being a complete unknown in the world of football to being one of its most highly-touted (and, potentially, highly-valued) young talents.
Interest in David's signature this summer will surely be at a peak, doubly so considering he's led the Ligue1 scoring charts for large chunks of the campaign this season.
That, coupled with his heroics for Canada in what has been a World Cup Qualifying underdog story of the ages makes David a massive summer transfer target for a number of clubs.
While there are no concrete connections just yet, teams like Liverpool, Arsenal, and Internazionale have been linked with the Lille OSC striker's signature through January.
Wherever David does move to in the summer, an exemplary performance vs. Paris Saint-Germain in their last meeting of the season would boost his value tremendously, too.
One game does not a striker make, but if you can be the difference-maker (again!) vs. Messi, Mbappe and co., it certainly would not have hurt.