Canadians in Europe: Buchanan heads to Serie A
Tajon Buchanan completed his move to a European giant, while Jonathan David was involved in a record rout and Cyle Larin moved on in the Copa del Rey. Here's a look at Canadians in Europe over the weekend.
Tajon Buchanan, Inter - The biggest news in Canadian football last week was the arrival of Brampton, Ont.'s Tajon Buchanan at Inter. The 24-year-old winger's transfer fee from Club Brugge was an initial €7 million that could go as high as €10 million with incentives. While Buchanan didn't dress in the Nerazzurri's 2-1 win over 10-man Verona on Saturday, his eventual debut will make Canadian soccer history. Buchanan will become the first ever Canadian to play in Serie A. "At this point in my career, this felt like the right choice and the right fit," Buchanan told the club website of his move. "Obviously, I've been watching Inter for a very long time and it's just a team and a place I saw myself playing at and I'm excited for the future." Buchanan, who joined Club Brugge in 2021 from the New England Revolution, finishes his Belgian career with five goals in 67 appearances across all competitions and a league title in 2022. Inter currently holds a two-point lead over Juventus atop the Serie A table.
Jonathan David, Lille - Like many of Europe's top league, this past weekend in France was spent on cup football with the Round of 64 in the Coupe de France. Jonathan David's Lille were in action against Golden Lion de Saint-Joseph, the champions from the island nation of Martinique. The match went exactly as you thought a game between the team currently sitting fifth in Ligue 1 and a club from a tiny West Indian country with a population just north of 360,000. The game was a rout and David was the driving force in what ended up being a club-record victory for Les Dogues. You can argue whether or not LOSC manager Paulo Fonseca needed to field a first-choice side, but he did and they came away with a 12-0 win. David notched a hat-trick with goals in the 25th, 36th and 75th and three assists, setting up a pair of Edon Zhegrova goals (33rd and 41st) and a Yusuf Yacizi marker (45th). The beating could have been worse if it weren't for a number of fine saves from Golden Lion goalkeeper Gilles Meslin. Already Lille's top scorer of the modern era, David's 68 goals for Les Dogues are second-most ever, trailing only Andre Strappe's 79 that the France forward scored between 1948 and 1958. Les Dogues return to league action on Sunday against relegation-threatened Lorient.
Cyle Larin, Mallorca - Looking for a first Copa del Rey since 2003, Cyle Larin and Mallorca were in third-round action on Saturday with a visit to Segunda Division midtable side Burgos. While heavily favoured, the La Liga side had to fight for their victory. Dominik Greif made a number of fine saves in the Mallorca goal in the early going with the home side clearly unbothered by their underdog role. It wasn't until midway through the second half that the visitors broke the duck. In the 63rd, Sergi Darder's low cross was deflected away by a Aitor Cordoba, but the ballfell directly to Giovanni Gonzalez who beat Loic Badiashile with a hard shot from a sharp angle to make it 1-0. Larin got into the act only minutes later thanks to some sloppy defending by the hosts. A misplayed back pass from Borja Gonzalez forced Badiashile to come off of his line to clear over Abdon Prats, but the ball only got as far as Siebe van der Hayden just outside the area. Van der Hayden squared for Larin, who thought about shooting from distance, but instead went back to Gonzalez in the box. Gonzalez then found Larin in a more advantageous area to shoot and score in the 74th. Prats would get a goal of his own in the 81st to wrap up the scoring with a 3-0 win. For Larin, the goal was his second in cup competition and third on the season in his first campaign with Mallorca.