At just 18 years of age, Alphonso Davies was thrust into action in arguably the most significant minutes the Canadian international has played in his young career. Down 2-1, Bayern Munich was pushing for an equalizer when the winger was brought on in the 77th minute. Although the result did not go his way and he still looks tentative at times, Davies gave Bayern fans a glimpse of the future as he settles in on the Bundesliga stage.
First, the work rate and athleticism of the youngster jumped off the screen as he tracked back and worked to regain possession. Whether this is Kovac’s doing or a result of being eager to impress, some of his attacking counterparts are much less willing to drop deep and help in defense.
In the first clip, Davies’ first touch of the game comes as a result of cutting off a passing lane as a teammate pressed the ball. Since he was positioned well, Davies was able to save the ball off of the touch line. He immediately accelerates, showing a confidence on the ball and instincts to take advantage of a discombobulated Bayer Leverkusen-defense. He utilizes his pace and a quick step-over to get around Jonathan Tah, but the defender’s deft flick was just enough to diffuse the situation.
The former Vancouver Whitecaps star’s most promising moment of the match came a few minutes after his first touch, and was once again started by intelligent positioning and a high work rate. Davies was level with Renato Sanches, swarming the ball and forcing Leverkusen to complete difficult passes. Without hesitation, the speedster broke up field when possession changed, taking the Portuguese midfielder’s pass in stride and tearing down the flank.
As Davies advanced into the opposition half, he found himself faced with a double-team. He used a simple hesitation move to leave the first defender in his tracks before he begins to round Tah and race to the end line. Tah’s strength and another well-timed tackle prevented a cross.
The young winger can’t be blamed for his struggles taking on Tah. No one else could for Bayern on the day, as the defender had a mammoth performance with three tackles, an interception, five clearances, and a blocked shot.
Phonzie’s fearlessness, motor, and skill on the ball are undeniable. He put these talents on display in his brief cameo alongside increased confidence and aggression. It remains to be seen whether the Canadian has what it takes to put it all together at the highest level, but this is a positive start.
I am just going to leave this last one here for your records.