In case you’ve been living under a rock all summer and only just emerged to feel that sweet August breeze or something, you’d be surprised to know that Bayern Munich signed a Canadian teenager from MLS named Alphonso Davies. Also, the club payed a record-breaking $13.5 million (€11.5m) for the kid, making him the most expensive MLS transfer ever and Bayern’s most expensive teenager (if you don’t count Renato Sanches).
So, have the usually-frugal Bayern Munich lost their minds? Well, no (obviously) and former Canada coach Octavio Zambrano says that it was definitely a bargain. Speaking to goal, here’s what he said about Bayern’s new Canadian superstar:
Bayern got a bargain, no doubt. One hundred percent. His best years are ahead of him and he has so much more in his game. I think they got a superb player for a very good deal. Alphonso is a player of three or four times that amount.
Zambrano, who gave Davies his international debut for Canada a year ago and coached him to a golden-boot-winning performance at the Gold Cup, wasn’t surprised to see his former player snapped up by a giant like Bayern.
Even when I had him, and watched him dominate, you could still see that he was a work in progress, with a lot of room to grow. Once he gets those tools, like strengthening his root foot and crossing, and timing his runs, once he perfects all that, he’s going to just be an amazing player.
Davies, who will join Bayern in the January of 2019, has been the subject of much interest from fans of European football who don’t know much about MLS. Zambrano spoke about his qualities, as well as his ability to deal with the limelight:
His power is really impressive. He’s a player with certain physical abilities that are elite level. He’s a big kid that is very strong, but that strength and speed is also coupled with a very good sense of how to play in the last third of the field, which is really what separates elite players from non-elite players.
It was interesting to see him be bombarded by the limelight during that tournament. You could see the buzz, there were agents, scouts from different teams around the world in the lobby and I think he got a bit overwhelmed, but now he’s been through that and he can handle it.
Since signing for Bayern, fans have been treated to some masterclass performances from Davies on the pitch. Bayern Sporting Director Hasan Salihamidzic already confirmed that the young Canadian would join the first team, not spend a season out on loan or with Bayern II. This has made some speculate that he may be the long-awaited successor to Arjen Robben or Franck Ribery. When asked if Davies could handle the jump from MLS to a club like Bayern, Zambrano was confident:
He may be only 17, but he has qualities you can’t teach, and he has also shown he can be fearless in situations where you might not expect a young player to be so poised. I’m sure most Bayerns don’t know much about him, but they should be very excited about the player Bayern is getting.