Alphonso Davies’ leap from the second team to the first came even earlier than he imagined. In Bayern Munich’s last eight games, Davies has played the duration at left-back, enabling David Alaba to shore up a central defense devastated by injury. Davies has not only played, but he has also thrived, delivering outstanding performances, especially his head-to-head match-up against Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.
In an exclusive interview with AZ, Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, the man who signed Davies, reflected on his protege’s success. He told AZ,
We signed Alphonso Davies a year ago because we see him as one of the greatest talents of his class. We are very happy that he has confirmed that game for game over the past few weeks. And our fans love him. They were waiting for such a player, who plays so freely with his speed, his technique, and physical robustness.
Salihamidzic views Davies as confirmation of Bayern’s relatively cautious transfer strategy that has recently focused especially on promising young players. He said,
I always said that that has to be our way in these wild transfer times: we need quality that helps us immediately and therefore cannot be had for cheap. And we need talent with the promise of quality. Alphonso can become a very important player for FC Bayern. It is our task to promote, challenge, and also protect him.
With a little help from untimely injuries — which are all too predictable in their way — Davies has defied the trope that young players can no longer make it at a giant club like Bayern. That point is not lost on Salihamidzic, who also recently spoke out in defense of Michael Cuisance. He said,
I’m happy about Alphonso’s performances above all because he proves that you get chances as a young player at FC Bayern, if you work on your development and the quality is there.
Everything has clicked for Davies thus far. Davies himself says that transitioning to left-back was “very easy, because I already played that in Vancouver.” He is trying, naturally, to learn his role even better and looks up to David Alaba for advice. He said of Bayern’s usual left-back,
In David Alaba, I have one of the best left-backs in the world beside me, and he helps me, too. I’m very grateful for that.
The rest, of course, feels like a dream-come-true. “That I’m now playing in the Bundesliga, the Champions League and the Pokal is a dream for me,” Davies said. “My family is totally proud of me and calls me every day.”