By Vibudh Dixit.
Alphonso Davies is living a dream right now.
The Canadian wonderkid made headlines when he became the first player born in the 2000s to play in Major League Soccer.
He was then signed from Vancouver Whitecaps by Bayern Munich for a potential fee of $22m after bonuses and add-ons.It was an MLS record fee at the time, and a seemingly hefty price to pay for a raw talent.
But his performances for Bayern this season make that fee look like a complete bargain. After being signed initially as a winger, he has made a quick transformation to a left-back role and has taken to it superbly.
An emergency crisis which saw Bayern lose Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernandez to long-term injuries, and with David Alaba just returning from an injury, Davies got a start at left-back against Union Berlin in the Bundesliga.
He impressed from the start and has made that place his own for now, with Alaba shifting to the centre-back position due to those injury problems.
His explosive pace and rapid acceleration, combined with brilliant dribbling have made him a real asset for Bayern.
He has incredible strength and power for a player of his age and size. According to DW Sports, Davies clocked a top speed of 34.76 km/h this season.
Alphonso Davies’ top speed is 34.76 km/h.
That’s around the same as a bottlenose dolphin.
— DW Sports (@dw_sports) February 9, 2020
The 19-year-old has come a long way.
Davies had a difficult childhood after being born in a refugee camp in Ghana, his teachers and sports coaches from school spotted his talent from a young age and believed he would make it big someday.
Bayern manager Hansi Flick showed a lot of faith in the youngster by trying him out as a makeshift left-back and the Canadian hasn’t let his manager down.
He won Bayern’s player of the month award in December. It could be the start of something big. Flick has been impressed by his performances and believes in his potential.
“I’ve always been confident Davies can fulfil the role of left-back,” Flick said last month.
“He’s our get-out-of-jail-free card with his pace and strength to recover his position, and he’s a great passer of the ball.
“It’s about performances, but we’re certainly well equipped at left-back with him and David [Alaba].”
Statistically, Davies is already performing on the level of a world-class left-back this season and there is no reason to believe that his performances will slow down.
It will be interesting to see what happens when Bayern have all their options back fit and healthy on the pitch once again, but if Davies keeps up with his recent performances, it will be a hard task for anyone to displace him from the lineup.
Bayern truly have a gem on their hands. A player who can be the face of Canadian football for years to come.