After a historic year in which the Canada Men’s National Team qualified for their first FIFA World Cup since 1986, the spotlight has been shone on many of the team’s big-name stars. Despite many of these already playing in top leagues in Europe, we could see some of them take the next step up in their careers as they look to continue their progression and become some of the sport’s most recognizable names. Here’s a look at three players who may be looking for new pastures when the summer transfer window opens in July.
Alphonso Davies & Real Madrid
The Canadian superstar is only 22 years of age but is already undoubtedly one of the best full-backs in world football. His electric pace and silky dribbling have made him a nightmare for opposition fullbacks that come up against him, hence why he has been a regular starter at left-back for Bayern München, one of the biggest clubs on the planet, since 2019.
According to reports by Spanish media outlet AS, Real Madrid have been monitoring Davies for some time and they see him as the ideal replacement for Ferland Mendy at left-back. ‘Los Blancos’ are, in the eyes of many, the greatest club in world football and a player like Davies in the white of Real makes a lot of sense.
He is very popular on social media, with over 5 million followers on Instagram, but is also arguably the face of North American soccer, which is a huge market in the modern day. Real Madrid is a club that is known worldwide for its highly effective marketing strategies and popularity in many continents across the globe, and signing a player like Davies would have huge benefits for them off the pitch just as much as his talents would benefit them on it.
It’s unlikely this move will happen this summer, with Mendy contracted at the Santiago Bernabeu until 2025, but for the right price, we could see him in La Liga sooner than expected.
Jonathan David & Manchester United
Another Canadian player making big headlines in Europe is Jonathan David. The Lille striker is currently the joint-second top scorer in France with 12 goals, only one behind the current leader Kylian Mbappe. And while his current club LOSC Lille may be a historic club in a domestic sense, it is only a matter of time before the big clubs come calling for the ‘Iceman’.
Manchester United are reportedly interested in David, and interest has since grown after comments made by current Lille manager Paulo Fonseca in an interview with La Voix des Sports, claiming that ‘it will be difficult to keep him at the club next season.’ After Cristiano Ronaldo was released from his contract only a few months ago, the ‘Red Devils’ opted to bring Wout Weghorst on loan from Burnley, possibly with the foresight of making David a priority in the summer.
Like his International teammate Davies, David holds huge popularity in Canada among supporters and it would be a very smart move for Manchester United in a marketing sense. As for the footballing side of things, he’s a very capable goalscorer with an abundance of top-level European experience at the age of just twenty-two, exactly what Erik Ten Haag is looking for.
David is currently contracted to Lille until 2025, so if any sides want to tempt him away from the Stade Pierre Mauroy, they may have to break the bank in the region of around CAD 100 million.
Tajon Buchanan & Inter Milan
Currently plying his trade at Club Brugge in the Belgian Pro League, Tajon Buchanan has had a difficult start to life in Europe. Despite plenty of game time at the Jan Breydel Stadion, he has only managed to contribute 2 goals and 2 assists in 34 games since his debut for the ‘Blauw-Zwart’ in January 2022. However, the 23-year-old has been a core part of his national side’s recent success, and this has put him on the radar of many of Europe’s top clubs.
Among those are Italian giants Inter Milan, who are keeping a close eye on Buchanan should their current right wing-back, Dutch international Denzel Dumfries, opt for a move away from the San Siro. This would be a huge step up for the midfielder from Brampton, but it comes with a significant amount of pressure that can be fought to handle.
Inter are one of Italy’s biggest and most historic sides, and for that reason, the fans and the owner Steven Zhang expect players to hit the ground running and contribute to the side almost immediately. This can be a tough ask for such a young player who is still learning, and in a country with an unrelenting media landscape and a coach who requires a level of flexibility from his players, you have to wonder if a move like this would be a good idea at this time.
However, if he could be integrated slowly and given time to adapt to the demands of the Italian game and the ‘Nerazzurri’, Buchanan may become a good investment for the future.
Photos and credits
Alphonso Davies (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Jonathan David (Sylvain Lefevre/GettyImages)
Tajon Buchanan (Kurt Desplenter/Getty Images)
On-Field (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)
Ronan McGuinness is an aspiring sports writer and expert in all things European Football. Born in the UK and raised in Ireland, Ronan has spent his whole life involved in the sport, from playing to coaching to now travelling throughout Europe and writing about the game he loves more than anything else.