Few outside Canada took much note of Alphonso Davies’ move from the Vancouver Whitecaps to Bayern Munich for an initial £9 million back in the summer of 2018. The youngster had made quite an impression in MLS, becoming the second-youngest player in the league’s history behind a certain Freddy Adu, but for those not in North American footballing circles this was just another low-risk recruitment of a promising young player.
Since then, though, Davies has become something of a star. The 19-year-old is now a first-team figure for Bayern, providing a rare bright spark in what has been an otherwise dull season. Indeed, 2019 was the year of Davies’ breakthrough in Bavaria and 2020 could be the year that the Canadian becomes a genuine superstar.
Signed as something of a winger, Davies has been converted into a full-back this season. His natural suitability for that position was demonstrated in the teenager’s stunning assist for Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga win over Freiburg, exchanging a one-two with a teammate and surging the full length of the pitch before fizzing an excellent delivery into the middle.
“We signed Alphonso Davies a year ago because we saw him as one of the best players of his generation,” Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidizic explained in a recent interview, reflecting on the deal that took the teenager from Canada to Bavaria.
“We're delighted that this is now being confirmed with every game he plays. Our fans love him too. They've been waiting for such a young player who plays so naturally with pace, technique and a strong physical presence.”
A spectacular length of pitch run and assist!
What a career this guy is going to have...
Indeed, Davies’ natural attributes have always been obvious, but he has now seemingly gained the mindset to cope with being a starter at a club like Bayern Munich. The 19-year-old is the quintessential modern full-back, dominating a whole wing almost entirely on his own, possessing the physicality to get up and down all match.
Canada doesn’t really boast much footballing pedigree. Owen Hargreaves was born and raised in Calgary but chose to represent England. Beyond that, the country has only ever produced players of the ilk of Junior Hoilett and Jonathan de Guzman.
Davies might already be Canada’s best-ever footballer, but the teenager transcends his nationality. Bayern Munich see him as a key part of their future and with good reason given the way he exploded on to the scene this year.