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Striker Watch: has Bayern Munich come calling for Canada’s Jonathan David?

And if so, will he answer?

Jonathan David raises his hand to call for the ball
Reporting for duty (Canada v Curaçao, CONCACAF Nations League, June 9, 2022)
Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Bayern Munich’s striker search this transfer window may be taking an intriguing turn. Per Sport Bild (as captured by @iMiaSanMia), Lille OSC forward Jonathan David has emerged as a candidate to fill the shoes of one Robert Lewandowski — who is still here, for now.

The situation

David has a contract until 2025, having signed two years ago for €27m from Belgian side K.A.A Gent. Lille finished tenth in Ligue 1 this season, however, and big teams are circling, including Manchester United. Though he’s hit an icy patch — scoring in two out of 21 club games in 2022 — he’s got 32 goals in all for Lille and Transfermarkt’s Manuel Veth puts his price tag at a cool €50m.

What does David make of all the attention? As he told The Province in early June:

“I wouldn’t say there’s a particular team. I think anything could come. It just depends on the project. What I can offer them or what they can offer me [...] It’s a World Cup year, so I think it’s important for me to keep playing and getting minutes. And I think it’s all about going somewhere that you know that you’re in a good environment,” David said.

Player profile

Still just 22 years of age, David is far from the finished product. But here’s one Bayern-centric glimpse at what he can do through the middle.

Pacy, energetic, looking for runs in behind, cool in the box with either foot: there’s lots to like. David is also consistently praised for pressing from the front, which is no surprise given his links to an Erik ten Hag team. At Lille, he played in a strike partnership, and his touchmap shows influence across the pitch:

Heatmaps showing central attacking midfielder or secondary striker positions for Jonathan David at Lille
Not quite the 9? David in Ligue 1 action for Lille OSC

Fit at Bayern

The immediate question will be how he might complement new signing Sadio Mané, who has also found his calling centrally for Liverpool. A strike partnership would not be out of the question: Julian Nagelsmann did employ a top-two as an adjustment from the bench last season and previously used a 3-5-2. It would still be surprising, though, and ask questions of numerous other players.

It’s also possible that Mané remains on the wing, and David is asked to develop into an in-the-box 9 for the next generation. Bayern should consider with caution, however, as not every striker used to having a partner transitions smoothly to lone ranger — see the cases of Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku for Chelsea’s back three.

From a chemistry perspective, at least, David is already well-acquainted with Canada teammate Alphonso Davies. That will certainly be a bonus, especially in any creative partnership. And he is the exact ideal age profile for Bayern’s next acquisition in attack.

Ultimately, at €50m, this would be buying high and putting a lot of pressure on David’s shoulders. Tantalizing, though it feels unlikely unless both Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry depart. Should that happen, however, David may zoom to the top of the list.

What do you think? Is a Canadian Invasion in store for Bayern Munich?

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