When Bayern Munich announced the acquisition of Alphonso Davies, there was a lot of skepticism regarding the move. Here was a talented MLS starlet, only 18 years old, moving to one of the biggest clubs in the world. People questioned whether he would ever get any minutes.
When it was announced that Davies was coming to join the first team and not the reserves, cynics branded the move as another transfer doomed to fail, confident that the youngster had no chance of making any impact.
Well, it seems that Bayern Munich are determined to prove these people wrong. While only Davies is responsible for his performances once he takes to the pitch, the club is determined to make sure he has an ideal environment everywhere else. Sporting Director Hasan Salihamidzic, credited as the architect of the Davies deal, confirmed that Bayern were going to take care of Alphonso and protect him from the hype.
A new report by Bild (behind a paywall) now details how the club is going about this. Most importantly, the bosses want Davies to be integrated into the team and the club culture long before he plays a single minute.
Part of Renato Sanches’ difficulty in his first season at Bayern was apparently how isolated and alone he felt in a foreign country. It shattered his confidence and affected his performances on the pitch. The Bavarians have learnt their lesson and are keen to prevent Davies from experiencing the same. Here’s how they’re going about it:
- The youngster was allowed to join the team when they flew to Amsterdam for the Champions League in mid-December. At the Munich airport, club President Uli Hoeness took him aside and spoke to him personally in front of the gate.
- He has regular German lessons built into his weekly schedule by team manager Kathleen Kruger.
- After home games, Davies is always allowed into the team’s dressing room to interact with the rest of the team.
- On his first day in Munich, the Canadian wanted to watch the club’s basketball players at the Audi Dome. He was taken to the the EuroLeague game against Olympiakos Piraeus by his agent Nick Househ and club-appointed personal assistant Johannes Mösmang.
- After visiting Bayern’s US tour in July, Davies made contact with Mats Hummels. The defender was also the one who took him to the Christmas party at the Palais Lenbach.
- The youngster is said to get along really well with Bayern left back David Alaba.
- Franck Ribery, whom Davies is touted to succeed someday, greeted him warmly in the dressing room and put his arm around the youngster.
Hopefully, all these measures have their effect. Davies is already eligible to play for the Bavarians, and he has joined the team’s winter training camp in Doha, Qatar. When Uli Hoeness was asked about Davies’ prospects, he replied:
He’ll be massive, I’ve heard! I trust my sporting director about that.
Speaking to sport1.de, Niklas Süle also spoke highly of the young winger:
He’s a really good guy. I’ve only trained with him a few times. He has incredible pace and will definitely find his way. He can still really develop with all the top stars.
In the beginning, it’s hard. It was the same way for me, but he’ll get used to it quick and then we’ll have a lot of fun with him.
It’s really encouraging that the team is banding together to make the transition as smooth as possible for a youngster. It takes a lot of effort to nurture talent, but if Bayern play their card right, then Davies could truly end up being something special.