Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng says teammate Alphonso Davies is “still going to get much better” after his jaw-dropping assist and all-round display against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
Davies was once again outstanding at left-back in the 8-2 victory that set up a semi-final showdown with Olympique Lyon, combining defensive solidity with a potent attacking threat that culminated in his spectacular assist for Joshua Kimmich to score Bayern’s fifth goal of the night.
Striding forward from the halfway line, he shimmied past Nelson Semedo on the left wing before getting to the byline and crossing for Kimmich, who had a simple tap-in.
“Regarding that assist, I say ‘wow!’ It was world class,” Boateng said afterwards. “In terms of his development it’s not often there’s such a talented youngster who explodes like that and finds their position. I’m really happy for him because he’s a really likeable boy away from the pitch, he’s kept his feet on the ground and hasn’t gotten carried away.”
The 19-year-old’s display – and that assist – were further proof, if any was needed, that the Canada international very much belongs at the top of the game, having taken great strides in his first full season at the club.
After starting the campaign on the fringes of the first team, injuries to Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernandez gave Davies his chance to shine, and he has not looked back since. So impressive has he been, in fact, that he has retained his place in the side even with that duo back to fitness and available for selection.
Boateng believes it is Davies’ desire and willingness to keep improving at left-back, having originally been recruited as a left-winger, that have helped him adapt to the demands of playing at senior level:
“He just wants to get better and continue learning. It’s a pleasure to watch him do that. There’s still so much potential there, I must say. It wasn’t his regular position in the past, so you can still expect more from him. He’s still going to get much better.”
Ominous words for semi-final opponents Lyon, who face Bayern in the last four of the Champions League on Wednesday, ahead of the title decider in Lisbon on Sunday 23 August.