Can Jonathan David end Arsenal's long-term striker search?
Arsenal might end their long-term striker search by signing Lille's gifted striker, Jonathan David.
Mikel Arteta's desire to sign a striker is something Arsenal fans have been anticipating since the January transfer window closed. After missing out on now-Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic, the manager has made the position his top priority for the upcoming summer.
The Spaniard will be without experienced striker, Alexandre Lacazette, who will leave the Emirate at the end of the season, and the manager seems unconvinced to leave the attacking role in the hands of academy graduate Eddie Nketiah, who has failed to seize the opportunity to lead the Gunners this season.
Also, Eddie Nketiah's contract expires at the end of the current season, which he may not renew if not guaranteed a spot in the starting eleven next season after just four starts in the Premier League.
The Spaniard is well aware of this and is looking for a striker to spearhead his slowly growing team, prompting him to cast his gaze into the river, searching for the ideal man for the job.
Arteta has identified Lille's gifted striker, Jonathan David, as a good fit for his needs, which aligns with his previous statement that his team needs a young, talented striker who can be a long-term solution.
Jonathan David has scored two hat-tricks for the Canadian national team.
"He has to have a certain age, a certain level of experience, and he has to be able to come here and play under the pressure of being at Arsenal," said Mikel Arteta in April.
Arsenal supporters hope that Edu Gaspar, the club's technical director, signs the young, gifted player who led Lille to the French championship last year.
Who is Jonathan David, and what can he bring to Arsenal?
Born on January 14, 2000, in New York City, United States, Jonathan David is only four years into his professional career, which began in 2018 with the Belgian club Gent in the Belgian Pro League.
David began his youth career in Ottawa, Canada, after emigrating to Canada at six. The gifted striker played for three different youth teams in Ottawa before being scouted by Gent.
The Canadian had a solid start to his professional career in Belgium, scoring five goals in his first five appearances, and finished the season with 14 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions for Gent.
The following season, the 22-year-old produced yet more convincing numbers, scoring 23 goals in 40 appearances, attracting the attention of French club Lille.
His versatility as a second striker and a point nine, as well as his incredible pace and ability to play out wide with his attacking play, drew Lille, who paid €30 million, the highest fee ever paid for a Canadian player.
Despite a slow start to life in France, Jonathan David finished his debut season with 13 goals and three assists in 48 appearances. The talented striker has scored 17 goals in all competitions for the French club this season, the most of any Lille player, which has without a doubt piqued Arteta's interest.
Since his professional debut, the talented striker has earned 30 international caps for the Canadian national team and scored 20 goals, including one in the Qatar World Cup qualification matches, a competition which the South American nation will be participating in.
He won the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup Golden Boot with six goals, and was also named Canadian Men's Player of the Year in 2019.
The manager believes the 22-year-old has room for improvement and will adapt quickly to his young team. Edu Gaspar will hope to reach an agreement with Lille to sign the striker, valued at around €50 million.
Though Jonathan David is undecided about his future at Lille, Arsenal are also looking into other options for the striker position if they are unable to sign the striker, and have been linked with Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus and Napoli's top striker, Victor Osimhen.
“My mind is not elsewhere, as some say. I have ambition. I want to improve, but I’m still here. At the end of the season, I will rest, and maybe there will be talks with the club. My agent will take care of it. We’ll see how it goes, "David said.