All smiles: Alphonso Davies is still only 19 but already a first-team regular at Bayern Munich this season. - © 2019 Getty Images
All smiles: Alphonso Davies is still only 19 but already a first-team regular at Bayern Munich this season. - © 2019 Getty Images
bundesliga

Alphonso Davies: “Transition to left-back at Bayern Munich has been easy”

Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies says he has found the transition from left winger to left-back as straightforward as he has made it look in recent weeks.

The 19-year-old has been a key component of an unfamiliar backline for the reigning Bundesliga champions this season, stepping up following long-term injuries to Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernandez that have forced a defensive reshuffle at the Allianz Arena.

That has involved regular left-back David Alaba playing centrally, opening up a space in the starting line-up that Davies has grabbed with both hands.

Davies (r.) is grateful for the encouragement and advice from teammate David Alaba (l.). - 2019 Getty Images

“Getting to play with [the team] in the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB Cup is just a dream come true,” he told BayernTV. “My family’s really proud of me. They call me after every single game and tell me: ‘we love you, keep going, we’re proud of you son’.”

Davies has featured in eight Bundesliga matches in 2019/20, starting four, and has been in the first XI in the club’s last six outings in all competitions.

“Luckily the coach sees something in me and plays me every week as a left-back or a winger, it doesn’t matter. Whichever one he puts me in I’m able to do the job.

“I have a guy like David Alaba beside me who is one of the best left-backs in the world and he’s helping me out,” Davies continued. “I’m very grateful for that. Being able to transition from a winger to a left-back was pretty easy for me because during my time at Vancouver I used to play there as well. So me playing left-back is just about learning the position more and more.”

The Canadian’s own positive take on his role in the team has been backed up by interim coach Hansi Flick, who singled him out for praise in the build-up to Bayern’s UEFA Champions League Matchday 5 clash away to Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday.

“He’s been doing a really good job,” said the 54-year-old. “I must admit he surprised me a bit, particularly how he performed against Dortmund and how he defended against Achraf Hakimi and Jadon Sancho, who are two fast, top-quality players. He did really well. I think he’ll bring us even more joy if he can continue to improve in a couple of areas in attack. He’s a young player with a great deal of potential and Bayern will certainly benefit from that.”