BELGIUM

The next Haaland?: Gent's Canadian striker Jonathan David

The New York-born striker is the Belgian league's top scorer with 18 goals and has caught the eye of several clubs who see a potential chance to sign the next Erling Haaland.

Is this the next Haaland?: Gent's Canadian striker Jonathan David

Three more goals this weekend further cemented Gent striker Jonathan David’s status as the star of the Belgian league, as well as one of the most prolific goal scorers in European football.

His hat-trick against Genk on Sunday brought the 20-year-old Canadian international’s tally to 18 league goals from 25 games this season, which is just his second in Belgium’s top flight (in his debut season last term he managed 12 goals).

They are impressive figures for a young player who has naturally drawn comparisons with Erling Haaland, the Dortmund battering ram that has left the Bundesliga with its mouth wide open this season. 

He was born the same year as the Norwegian (2000) and arrived in Belgian football from Ottawa ISC’s academy in January, 2018. After a brief spell in Gent’s youth ranks, he made the jump to the first team and is currently the top scorer in the Jupiler League.

Gent's Jonathan David in action with AS Roma's Chris Smalling in the Europa League, Round of 32 First Leg.

Several top clubs eyeing David

Having secured his position as an indisputable starter this campaign, he has caught the eye of several of Europe’s top clubs, especially those in the Bundesliga, where Haaland originally arrived from Norwegian club Molde to join RB Salzburg, before his move to Dortmund in January.

Having seen the incredible rise of Haaland this season, several clubs will be considering taking a similar strategy with David, whose current market value is just 20 million euros.

The New York-born forward has also been scoring at ease for the Canadian national team, netting 11 goals in 12 games. Many see him as one of the young stars set to take Canadian football to the next level in the coming years, alongside Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davis and Cyle Larin, who also currently plays in the Belgian league with Zulte Waregem.