New Lille striker Jonathan David has explained why he chose to join the Ligue 1 side rather than move to the Premier League.
Canada international David became one of the most sought-after young forwards in Europe last season. He scored 18 goals in 27 league appearances for Gent in Belgium.
As a result of his form, the Premier League became a possible destination for the 20-year-old. David was suggested as a target for the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool or Arsenal – while Newcastle were also reportedly in the race.
Then, reports emerged claiming that newly promoted Leeds United wanted to make a move for him. In fact, Gent even confirmed that Leeds were interested.
However, David has snubbed the chance to move to the Premier League. Instead, he joined Lille on Tuesday, signing a five-year contract. Costing around €30m, he effectively replaces Victor Osimhen, who also recently turned down interest from England to move elsewhere – namely Napoli.
Now, David has shed light on why moving to the Premier League was not on his mind just yet.
He told France Bleu Nord: “Everyone knows the Premier League is a high-quality league.
“But my choice was dictated by the fact that above all, I wanted to be sure of playing.
“My choice was made quite early. But I understand that it took a little while to finalise between the two clubs.”
“Always knew deal would be done”
“Gent wanted to keep me one more season, but I had made my choice and they respected it,” David continued.
“I always knew it was going to be done, even if it took a little while. I really liked the sports project that Luis Campos [Lille’s sporting director] and the club management sold to me.
“That’s really what encouraged me to join Lille. In fact, I especially wanted to join a club where I know that I will keep playing and getting better.
“There is a very good team here with very good players.”