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Jonathan David to Lille
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Report: Canada’s David agrees terms with Lille

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Linked with some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs, Canadian starlet Jonathan David is opting to stay closer to his current club.

Gent playmaker David, 20, had been linked with Manchester United, Bayern Munich, and Arsenal with reports saying his agent was targeting a club somewhere between the quality of the Belgian top-flight and the UEFA superpowers, with Lazio, Porto, Ajax, Lyon, Everton, and Leicester City in that group.

If the reports are true, his agent is getting his way with David agreeing to terms with Ligue 1’s Lille, who are in the Europa League next year following a fourth place finish in France.

RMC reporter Mohamed Bouhafsi reports that Lille has offered $28 million to Gent, who would like to get $34 million. Seems like a bridge that can be crossed.

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It takes little more than an hour to drive from Gent to Lille.

The move could signal changes for Lille, who has a bevy of young attackers including American forward Timothy Weah, ex-Chelsea man Loic Remy, transfer rumor mill mainstay Victor Osimhen, and French youth international Jonathan Bamba amongst others.

David’s 18 goals tied for the Belgian league high with ex-Hull and Norwich man Dieumerci Mbokani, and scored five more goals in the Europa League including markers versus Saint-Etienne and Roma.

He has 37 goals and 15 assists in three seasons with the Belgian powers.

The Brooklyn-born David also has 11 goals in 12 caps for Canada, though those admittedly came against some of the minnows of CONCACAF.

2020 Golden Boy award shortlist announced

Golden Boy award shortlist
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The 2020 Golden Boy award shortlist includes Americans for the first time in two years, as two USMNT prospects were named amongst the top 100 players under the age of 21 in Europe’s top leagues.

Tuttosport has named Ajax’s Sergio Dest and Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna to the shortlist for the award. The last Americans to make the shortlist were Timothy Weah and Christian Pulisic in 2018.

Dest, 19, was recently named Ajax Talent of the Year and has already earned 35 senior appearances for the club with two goals and six assists. He’s thrice capped by the USMNT.

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Reyna, 17, has become a fixture in the Dortmund XI for Lucien Favre, regularly coming off the bench and displaying a knack for drawing fouls and tidy passing. The son of USMNT legend Claudio Reyna, “Gio” has a goal and an assist in 16 first team appearances.

Canada’s American-born Jonathan David (Gent) and Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich) also make the cut, as does Mexican forward Diego Lainez (Real Betis).

Joao Felix beat Jadon Sancho to the 2019 honors, and it would be stunning if Reyna or Dest got much further in the process given the young talent on show this season. Erling Haaland and Sancho of Borussia Dortmund will be two of the favorites to emerge with the top billing.

Premier League talent everywhere

Starting with the first name on the alphabetical list, Premier League clubs made an impressive showing in the top 100.

Max Aarons of Norwich City is joined by Tino Anjorin (Chelsea), Angel Gomes (Manchester United), Trae Coyle (Arsenal), Phil Foden (Man City), Eric Garcia (Man City), James Garner (Man Utd), Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolves), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), Mason Greenwood (Man Utd), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Michael Obafemi (Southampton), Pedro Neto (Wolves), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Oliver Skipp (Tottenham), Sepp van den Berg (Liverpool).

Club Brugge named champions as Belgium votes to end season

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Club Brugge have been named the champions of Belgium as clubs voted to end the 2019-20 season with European spots and one relegation for Waasland-Beveren also confirmed.

The decision has long been coming after clubs and the league agreed in April to end the current campaign without further games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, after a lengthy delay an official vote only took place on May 15 and clubs decided to name Club Brugge champions and settle the rest of the table by leaving it as it was. Club Brugge will now be in the UEFA Champions League group stage next season, while Gent will be in the UCL third qualifying round and Charleroi will be in the Europa League group stage.

Antwerp will join the Europa League in the third qualifying round and Standard Liege in the second. Genk and Anderlecht finished in seventh and eighth respectively and miss out on European qualification. Club Brugge were 15 points clear at the top with one game of the regular season to go, as the Belgian league then splits into a top and bottom half playoff format for the remainder of the season.

The decision to award a champion and end the season with the table as it is is different from other leagues around Europe, as in France’s Ligue 1 they decided to use a points-per-game to end the 2019-20 season due to the French government postponing professional sports until September. The Dutch government also stopped pro sports, even in empty stadiums, until Sept. 1 but the Dutch Eredivisie decided to cancel the season as no champions were declared and no promotion and relegation was permitted.

As for Italy, Spain and England, all three aim to restart their top-flight leagues in June, while the Bundesliga in Germany is of course returning to action this weekend.

All of these countries in Europe are so close to one another geographically but given the different situations in each nation due to the coronavirus pandemic, leagues are coming to very different decisions.

Canadian winger David linked with host of top European clubs

Jonathan David
Jonathan David
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Is Gent winger Jonathan David the next North American headed for a top five European league?

The Canadian playmaker is currently leading the Belgian First Division in goals, and his agent is saying this summer means the next step for the 20-year-old.

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David has 18 goals and eight assists in league play for Gent, adding five goals and two helpers in Europa League play.

Football.London says that David prefers a move to Bayern Munich, but this his agent prefers an interim club over a leap to a UCL club like the Bavarian side or Arsenal.

David has 11 goals in 12 caps for Canada, providing the Canucks with a flyer on the other side of Alphonso Davies (who’s with that aforementioned Bayern side, if you haven’t heard).

The gossip pages have also linked him with Lazio, Porto, Ajax, Lyon, Everton, and Leicester City.

Where’s the best spot for him? Well, it depends on how badly the biggest clubs want him, but a “second-tier” slot that still brings UEL would be dynamite for his growth.

FC Cincinnati signs Japanese international as new Designated Player

FC Cincinnati signs new Designated Playerr
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FC Cincinnati has its man, signing Yuya Kubo as a Designated Player from KAA Gent in Belgium.

Kubo, 26, scored 25 times with six assists in 73 matches for Gent, a tenure broken up by a six-month loan to Bundesliga side Nurnberg.

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He scored once in 23 matches for the German club, and has been effective in both the Europa League and Champions League qualifying. Kubo got his start in Europe with Swiss powers Young Boys.

Kubo also has two goals in 13 caps for Japan, though he’s not been capped since March 2018.

From FCCincinnati.com:

“We are delighted to add a proven offensive player in the form of Yuya Kubo to our roster,” FC Cincinnati general manager Gerard Nijkamp said. “We’ve made it a priority to bring impact players to Cincinnati and we believe Yuya’s versatility as an attacking player will be a great addition to our current group.”

Kubo plays as a striker and an attacking mid and joins a Cincinnati attack with no sure things but plenty of intrigue.

Cincy has Kekuta Manneh, Darren Mattocks, Brandon Vazquez, Fanendo Adi, Joe Gyau, and Frankie Amaya operate in playmaking midfield positions.