Barcelona have often taken criticism for having a flawed transfer policy. The club has been sticking to short-term buying and it has been a case of putting on a blindfold, throwing paint at a canvas and hoping they end up with Monalisa. They have taken stick for being random and lacking a plan. But the recent links to Jonathan David show that maybe, the policy might be changing a bit for the Catalans.
The Belgian league has become a rather undervalued place for poaching talents. From Sergey Milinkovic-Savic and Kalidou Koulibaly to Wilfried Ndidi, many players have silently got their first major breakthrough in Belgium. The next one could be David and there is a reason why big clubs want the striker.
David has been in impressive form for his club Gent. In just 27 Jupiler League games for the club, the Canadian forward has scored 18 goals with three of them being penalties. If that isn’t enough, the 20-year-old has also racked up seven assists during this time. In total, he has contributed to as many as 25 goals.
This is the highest goalscoring tally for David in a single season. Last season, he had scored only eight league goals and this season has been a massive improvement for him.
David brings a high shooting accuracy to the plate. The average shooting accuracy for a striker (per Soccerment) is 34.1 percent. But that metric for David stands at an impressive 55 percent. He benefits from having 12 percent of his touches come in the opposition’s box, allowing him to play close to goal.
As a result, he has a very healthy goalscoring tally while taking only 2.3 shots on target per 90 minutes (per Wyscout). He completes 1.7 dribbles per 90 minutes and does that with very good accuracy of 61 percent. What paints him as a complete striker is that he completes five recoveries per 90 minutes, with four coming in the opposition’s half.
This shows that despite being a prolific goalscorer, he also possesses very good abilities on and off the ball. That is perhaps why many clubs (apart from Barca) want to sign the Brooklyn-born striker in the summer of 2020.
The sort of player David is, he seems very much in the Luis Suarez mould. Like the Uruguayan, David is adept at linking up play and often taking on defenders. He is prolific at goalscoring and thrives on being as close to goal as possible.
The comparison via Soccerment brings up very stark similarities. Both aren’t just very good at assisting, they are equally good at every possible aspect on the pitch. And that is what makes David such a suitable replacement for the ageing Suarez.
David’s agent has made it clear that he can leave Gent soon, providing encouragement to many clubs about signing him. While he’s said that David is eyeing a Bundesliga move, his comments are certainly a sign that he might be leaving soon.
He said (via BuliNews): “Jonathan is now ready for the next step. He wants to play in the Bundesliga. Realistically, Jonathan is only playing his first full season as a professional. His leaps in development are enormous.”
A move for David would be a rare achievement for Barcelona. Many deals of the past- those like Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho and Malcom haven’t gone down well. David would be the perfect fit and a long-term deal that they need to replace Suarez in the near future.