So much excitement and anticipation surrounded Alphonso Davies’s move to Bayern Munich from the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS. After such a successful tenure with the Whitecaps, the 18-year old midfielder has a bright future ahead of him, though he’s still finding consistent minutes hard to come by at Bayern. So far, he’s featured for Niko Kovac’s men five times, all as a substitute, and his longest shift lasted 31 minutes in Bayern’s comprehensive 6-0 win over Mainz, in which he scored his first goal.
Despite not receiving a plethora of minutes, Canadian National team manager John Herdman isn’t too concerned about Davies’s fortunes, per an interview with SportsNet. At Bayern, Herdman feels, Davies has made the proper next step in his career and is in the right place to take his talents to the next level, even if it takes him a decent amount of time to become a regular player in the first team:
I’m really happy with the opportunity he’s created for himself. I mean, he’s put himself into a very good club. He’s in the best environment to learn from. Alphonso is learning from some of the best players on the planet who have played in that position, in Ribery and Robben. Anything he can take at the age of 18 from players like that, that’s going to take him to the next level, and that next level might not come until he’s 20 or 21.
After being in the first team squad for three consecutive Bundesliga matches in February, Davies was dropped to the reserve squad; a decision that ultimately boiled down to Bayern’s coaching staff wanting him to get some solid minutes under his belt and work on some technical aspects of his game. Encouragingly, he was added back to the first team squad just a few weeks after being dropped and has only experienced a little setback due to a minor injury he sustained while celebrating his goal against Mainz. All in all, Herdman said he feels that Bayern have done an excellent job with Davies in their efforts to get him adjusted to life in Munich and playing at such a high level:
That’s one of the hardest things to do for young players; they go into their new clubs following a transfer with big hopes. What I’ve learned from the regular conversations I’ve had with Bayern Munich’s people – and they’re very happy with him and where he’s at – they’re well aware it’s a big adjustment for Alphonso, with the new language and culture. What they’ve highlighted [Davies has to work on] is that confidence, that confidence to play freely when you’re playing with guys you only previously played with on FIFA . You have to play with yourself and fight through mistakes, and these are things he’s learning. When he gets that, it will only bring him to a next level for Canada when we play in more important games, including the Gold Cup and Nations League.
Davies might not be one of the first names on Kovac’s team sheets, but with such a tight title race, he could very well play a vital part for Bayern in their chase for the domestic double. He’s already shown that he can come off of the bench and make an impact, and his first Bayern goal against Mainz will give him every bit of confidence moving forward.