Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies can become one of the best left-backs in the world, according to former Vancouver Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson.
Davies, 19, enjoyed a breakout campaign with Bayern, becoming the double-winners' first-choice in the left-back position. The Canada international was rewarded for his eye-catching performances with the Bundesliga Rookie of the Season award. He also set a new Bundesliga speed record of 22.7 mph.
Robinson, who handed a 15-year-old Davies his professional debut in Major League Soccer with Vancouver, says his former protege's accelerated development comes as no great surprise.
"He is a fantastic, talented young boy," Robinson, currently in charge of Australian side Newcastle Jets, told Stats Perform News. "Now it's about consistency because after having a very good year at left-back, which was key for his development, then he has to do it next year and the year after.
"Then, he can be put into the category of the Gareth Bales, Ashley Coles, the top players like that all over the world. That will be his next challenge but I firmly believe he can do it because he's a good kid."
Watch: Alphonso Davies under the tactical microscope
Davies was born in Buduburam, a Ghanaian refugee camp, after his parents had fled the civil war in Liberia. The Davies family were able to immigrate to Canada when Alphonso was five, eventually settling in Edmonton, Alberta.
After enrolling in the Vancouver Whitecaps' residency program at 14, he became the youngest player to appear in the United Soccer League, and later the first player born in the 2000s to play in Major League Soccer. 'Kid Canada' was just 15 years, eight months and 15 days old.
He officially joined Bayern in January 2019, soon after turning 18, and is widely regarded as Canada's best ever soccer player.
"Alphonso Davies is an unbelievably successful story," Robinson said. "It's due to himself – because he is a very, very talented player. He got the chance and did well.
"It was his journey, no one else's journey. He had reference points and coaches that were his go-to which was very important. His mum and dad, a very supportive family network. It's a great success story for him. I'm really pleased. I'm not surprised one bit."
Davies - who ranks as the first Canadian to play and score for Bayern, and the first millennial to find the net for the club - will have the opportunity to add to his glowing reputation and 45 first-team appearances for Germany's record title-holders in the revamped UEFA Champions League mini tournament in August.
"There was a clip where [my coaches] saw him getting back on Mason Mount from 30 yards," Robinson recalled. "Mount was breaking and Alphonso managed to get himself back into that area and stop the danger. Everyone was raving about how quick he is, he's not human, he's so quick."
The return fixture will take place in Munich on 8 August, with the remainder of the competition to be played in a single-leg format between 12-23 August at Lisbon's Estadio da Luz and Estadio Jose Alvalade.
Should Davies and Co. progress to the quarter-finals, they will face the winner of the last-16 tie between Barcelona and Napoli.