Alphonso Davies has found himself playing a key role at Bayern Munich, perhaps quicker than many people might have thought. - © imago images/Lackovic
Alphonso Davies has found himself playing a key role at Bayern Munich, perhaps quicker than many people might have thought. - © imago images/Lackovic

Alphonso Davies: the "sensational" signing making waves at Bayern Munich


When Alphonso Davies joined Bayern Munich last winter, he may not have been expected to make as immediate an impact as World Cup winners Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard, who arrived in the summer, but the Canadian forward has wasted no time in ensuring his name is resonating loudly in Bundesliga circles this season.

The 19-year-old winger has played through in Bayern's past three league fixtures, ever since making his first start for the club in their 2-1 win over Union Berlin. Quite simply, now he is in the starting XI, there is no other place for him.

He has completed the full 90 minutes in five straight games for the record champions, including their 2-0 UEFA Champions League win over Olympiacos – his first appearance in that competition.

Not least in view of his performance against Borussia Dortmund in the latest Klassiker, Davies has established himself as a key member of a club seeking an eighth straight Bundesliga title this term.

Watch: Davies' delight at Bayern switch

The fact Davies started against Dortmund could not be taken for granted, though. While he had played in the previous three outings under Niko Kovac, the change of coach to Hansi Flick wiped the slate clean and meant Davies faced the same scrutiny as every other squad player.

Flick just knew he could not cut the Canadian from his team, though.

"Alphonso's a young lad and, in recent games – I think he's now played five in a row – he's really matured a great deal," the 54-year-old said after Bayern's 4-0 Klassiker win. "He's quick, with extraordinary speed – as you could see today when he was faced with [Achraf] Hakimi or [Jadon] Sancho, who are not particularly easy opponents, yet he had both of them under control."

Originally earmarked as an attacking addition and potential successor to Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery – and his five goals in 17 caps for Canada as well as eight goals and nine assists in his final season in Vancouver suggest why – Davies has adapted remarkably to an injury situation which has seen him used as a left full-back since breaking into the starting XI.

His versatility combined with an innate impulsiveness to attack when the wing is free have only added further dimensions to Davies' game, and Flick expects him to get even better.

"He raced forwards a lot and the thing which impresses me the most about him is how he throws his weight about in challenges," Flick said. "He totally defended his side of the field and I'm really happy with him. I think he could maybe give us a bit more going forward, but that's all part of his development and he's still relatively young so if he keeps going the way he is, then I'm sure he'll add that to his game."

A look at the bare statistics of his performance in Der Klassiker render that assertion quite a frightening prospect. Davies had 80 touches of the ball, winning 11 out of 13 challenges and finding a teammate with 93.6 per cent of his passes – two of which led to a goalscoring opportunity.

"He's going to be world class," enthused Bayern's president Uli Hoeneß in an interview with Sport1. CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added: "You can see how well he's developing and we're all pleased with him."

The same can be heard from Davies' teammates, with Leon Goretzka branding him "a machine" for his performance against Dortmund. "He played a great game, but we all knew he had the potential," added the Germany international, while goalkeeper Manuel Neuer exonerated Davies from any of the blame for the 5-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt which served as a wake-up call to the club. "He was one of the few who didn't play badly against Frankfurt," said the Bayern and Germany No1.

Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies (l.) kept Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho (r.) quiet in the recent Klassiker – the Canadian's fifth straight full appearance for the record champions. - 2019 DFL

Catapulted from side note status upon arriving from the Vancouver Whitecaps FC to being one of the headline-making members of a resurgent Bayern team under Flick, Davies is now earning the adulation he deserves, and it's better late than never according to Hoeneß.

"The transfers of Pavard, Hernandez and – last but not least – Davies are solely down to [sporting director] Hasan Salihmidzic's efforts, and we're delighted to have made these three sensational transfers," said Hoeneß to Sport1 at the weekend.

Earning such approval from Hoeneß is not something to be taken lightly and while he may soon be stepping down from his role as club president, it is Davies who is stepping up to the plate and delivering performances that the retiring recognisable figure of Bayern's recent domination will enjoy for years to come from the luxury of his reserved pew at the Allianz Arena.