Lille have signed striker Jonathan David from Belgian side Gent after agreeing a club-record €30 million (£27m/$35m) fee.
The Canada international joins the Ligue 1 outfit despite interest from several Premier League sides, including Manchester United, Arsenal, Leicester City, Leeds, Brighton and Crystal Palace.
The 20-year-old moves to France after two prolific seasons in Belgium. He scored 14 league goals and provided five assists with the Buffalos in his debut campaign in Europe in 2018-19, before following that up with a season in which he scored 23 times in the league and added eight assists across 40 matches.
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At international level, David has scored 11 goals in 12 games for Canada in a starring role alongside Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies.
Speaking to Lille’s official website, David, who signed a five-year deal with the club, expressed his excitement at joining Lille’s project.
“I’m really happy. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this day and it’s a pleasure to be a Dogue,” David said. “I know the project that has been put in place here by the president, Luis Campos, and [head coach] Christophe Galtier.
“This is a very good team with great players. I want to play and to progress and I think that this is the perfect place. I’m a player who knows his place on the pitch. I love to play to my qualities, notably with speed and and technique. I’m also eager to see our fans! Let’s go LOSC!”
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David will help replace former Lille star Victor Osimhen, who joined Napoli in a €50m (£45m/$59m) deal last month after a season in which he scored 18 times in all competitions.
At €30m, Lille have broken their record transfer fee, which was set last summer when they paid €25m (£23m/$30m) to land Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich.
“He is a player with not only great physical and technical abilities, but also mental qualities which make him particularly alert, agile and decisive,” Lille CEO Marc Ingla said of David. “Jonathan is a very intelligent boy who I am sure will fit in with the LOSC style of play and the French championship.”
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