Alphonso Davies (c.) was central to Bayern Munich collecting five major honours in 2020. - © Matthias Hangst/Bundesliga
Alphonso Davies (c.) was central to Bayern Munich collecting five major honours in 2020. - © Matthias Hangst/Bundesliga

Why Alphonso Davies should win the 2020 Golden Boy award

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe are among the former winners of the Golden Boy, which recognises the most impressive performances among U21 players in Europe in a calendar year. After a continental treble-winning 2020, there can only be one winner: Alphonso Davies.

The award is in its 18th edition, having first been instituted by Italian sports newspaper Tuttosport in 2003 and since expanded to include votes from around Europe, including from German outlet Bild.

Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund, 2011) and Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich, 2016) are the two Bundesliga protagonists to have previously won the award, while Davies is in the shortlist this year alongside BVB pair Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland.

Watch: Davies, a star in two worlds

All three have a solid case, but only one of the trio - or indeed any of the 20 players on the final shortlist - were a cornerstone of a team who completed a domestic league and cup double before going on to be crowned European champions like Davies.

It is easy to forget that Davies is still a teenager, his progress from promising prospect to Bayern's first-choice left-back as swift as the Bundesliga-record 22.7mph top speed he clocked in the champions' 1-0 win at Werder Bremen in June - enough to get a fine in a school zone in his native Canada.

2020 was Davies' breakthrough year. The first player born in the 2000s to play a Major League Soccer match, Davies joined as a winger in January 2019 but was repurposed as a left-back when injuries to Lucas Hernandez and Niklas Süle ravaged Bayern's defence at the start of last season, and he showed maturity beyond his years in adapting to a new position as well as a new country.

Alphonso Davies: too fast for the cameras sometimes, but still enough time for an attempt at the Bundesliga logo. - Lukas Schulze/Bundesliga

He concluded the season with three goals and four assists in the Bundesliga from 29 appearances; the latter of those goal contributions a tally he matched in the Champions League. The way Davies sat Nelson Semedo down before laying on Joshua Kimmich for the fifth of eight goals in Bayern's 8-2 thrashing of Barcelona in the quarter-finals really made the world sit up and take notice.

"He's the best attacking full-back on the planet at the minute," former Manchester United and England stalwart Rio Ferdinand exclaimed. "If I was Semedo, I'd come off Instagram for a bit. What he did to him was out of order."

"That was unbelievable," said Kimmich. "Even I was a bit ashamed when I celebrated. He gets 99 percent of the credit for the goal. I only had to get the ball over the line."

Nine days later and Davies was the only teenager on the field as Bayern completed their European dream by beating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the final in Lisbon, becoming the first Canadian ever to be crowned a European champion.

Sancho and Haaland combined for 36 goals and 19 assists for BVB last term, and they will be key to Dortmund's attempts to dethrone Bayern in all three competitions. Whether they can pull that off remains to be seen, but 2020 undoubtedly belonged to Davies.

Goals, assists, clean sheets, a speed record, trophies and plaudits; and still only 19. Alphonso Davies is surely the most Golden Boy imaginable this year.