Alphonso Davies may be a name you hear about once or twice today following a breathtaking display from the talented speedster during Bayern Munich’s 3-0 victory at Stamford Bridge in their Champions League last-16 first leg.
At 19, Davies is taking the continent by storm in his inaugural campaign for the German champions.
In July 2018, Bayern Munich got the world’s attention after they turned North American soccer on its head when they acquired Davies from Vancouver for a reported fee that could rise to $22 million – which at the time was the largest fee paid for an MLS player.
The 2019/20 campaign, his first full one at Bayern, Davies has appeared in 10 of Bayern’s 14 Bundesliga matches, having played the full 90 minutes in their previous six games. He has also played the full 90 in Bayern’s last two Champions League group stage matches.
Davies’ European story has similarities to Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold who also at the age of 19 was helping power his club side to Champions League highs. Two years ago, the Englishman starred in a vital 5-0 win in Porto as the Reds – similarly to Davies and Bayern last night – saw themselves with one foot in the quarter-final following such an emphatic first-leg display.
It’s worth noting that Davies, in his debut season has already clocked up 29 appearances for the Bundesliga leaders and has eight assists to his name from left-back – five more than Alexander-Arnold in his first full campaign in 2017/18.
Trent would eventually go on all the way to the Champions League final at Kiev in 2018 and a year later the Liverpool-born superstar made footballing history after he became the youngest ever player to start in back-to-back European Cup finals as the Reds beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 to claim their sixth triumph in the competition.
Both Davies and Alexander-Arnold are fascinating prospects with neither what you would call a traditional full-back. The former was transformed from a winger into a makeshift left-back while the latter progressed through the academy ranks at Liverpool operating as a central midfielder.
Davies’ speed allows him to overlap midfielders and spread out the pitch with the Canada international particularly devestating in transition. However, similarly to Trent in his early development, his defensive qualities are a work in progress, he has become a versatile player.
Last season, before the German outfit’s first knockout round match against Liverpool, Davies walked out onto the Anfield pitch alongside some of the club’s younger players and shot videos on his phone taking in the moment dreaming of what might come in the future.
Similarly to Alexander-Arnold, Davies is carrying the weight of his nation when it comes to representing his home-town. As a teenager, it can be an unexpected burden at such a young age but just like Liverpool’s very-own scouser, Davies resembles a player destined to make it at the top.