Despite playing as a winger for the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS making his move to Bayern Munich, Alphonso Davies has quickly established himself as one of Europe’s best left-backs and most promising young talents. His blistering pace almost gives Bayern an added insurance policy in terms of how far he can venture forward in attack, being able to rely on his pace alone to make recovery runs when needed to quell counter attacks from the opposition.
He helped lead Canada to the World Cup with his involvements in their CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers despite not having the greatest season for Bayern, though he did miss a fair bit of time due to his bout of myocarditis after having coronavirus. This season, he’s been a regular feature for Julian Nagelsmann at left-back — he only missed out on Bayern’s 7-0 win over VfL Bochum through a muscular problem.
He put in a solid, 45-minute shift in Bayern’s 5-0 win over Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League, during which Nagelsmann explained after the match that he had given the Canadian international some different tactical instructions. Nagelsmann revealed that he’s been having Davies drift more centrally to play through the middle of the pitch instead of always staying wide, near the touchlines. “I would pick Phonzy out. He now plays a lot through the middle, no longer the classic full-back who sticks to the sideline. I looked for a new position for him and found it,” Nagelsmann explained when he was asked about individual performances in the the win against Plzen (@iMiaSanMia).
While more central movements would sometimes occur for Davies in the circumstantial flow and happenstance of any given match, putting an emphasis on it to create different space for other players has been something that Nagelsmann really likes. Not only does it give other players more spaces to run into and attack, but it also makes Davies harder to defend and keep track of for Bayern’s opposition.
With that said, Nagelsmann is really pleased with the flexibility and tactical adjustability Davies has shown with these new, minor positional shifts. “He’s doing very well there and feels good about it. For me, that’s a really big step he’s taking in terms of flexibility. He can play on the wing, he can play through the middle. Therefore I’m very happy,” Nagelsmann commended.