Newcastle could have struck gold with £27m “phenomenon”, Bruce missed his own Haaland – opinion

Newcastle may rue the fact that they saw rumoured transfer target, Jonathan David, join French side Lille in the summer instead.

What was the story?

Reports from Spain indicated that the Magpies were negotiating with Gent over the signing of David, and that things were on the “right track”, with an agreement between the English and Belgian club almost being reached.

In the end, the Canada international made a €30m (£27m) switch to Ligue 1 outfit Lille, and whilst he’s yet to hit the ground running in France with no goals to his name just yet, missing out on the 20-year-old’s signing is something the Magpies may look back with a sense of regret.

Potential for greatness

At previous side Gent, David showed exactly why he was hot property in the summer transfer window. He’d smashed in 26 goals in just 50 league games in the Belgian top-flight, whilst he also picked up an impressive 12 assists too.

At only 20, and already a fully-fledged senior international with Canada where’s managed an incredible 11 goals in 12 games, the sky really is the limit for what the forward can do, and Gent’s former manager, Hein Vanhaezebrouck, made that absolutely clear earlier this year.

He said: “He is a phenomenon. The best player in the country. He will be the most expensive outgoing transfer from Gent. They would happily sell him for £25 million or more.”

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Whilst Callum Wilson has come in and done a great job for the Magpies – he’s bagged four goals in seven matches – David would have been the profile of signing for Newcastle to really build around over the coming years.

Instead, just like someone like Erling Braut Haaland when he made the move from RB Salzburg to Borussia Dortmund and is now being linked with Manchester United, David’s price is just going to soar through the roof, and it will feel like Newcastle and Steve Bruce have missed an opportunity to sign a quality prospect at a fraction of their eventual price.

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