Welcome to World Class: Alphonso Davies

Robbie Copeland
Dec 10, 2020, 2:00 PM GMT
Alphonso Davies is one of 90min's top five left-backs in the world | #W2WC
Alphonso Davies is one of 90min's top five left-backs in the world | #W2WC | Matt Burt/90min
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The right-footed volley against Mainz that made him Bayern Munich's youngest goalscorer in two decades.

The run and assist against Chelsea that made an absolute mockery of Reece James and Andreas Christensen.

The passionate celebration after he left Freiburg for dead and picked out Robert Lewandowski to open the scoring at Schwarzwald-Stadion.

There was even an instance later in the season where one of his recovery runs made the freakishly imposing Erling Haaland look like a schoolboy.

Everyone who has watched Bayern Munich over the past two years has a favourite Alphonso Davies moment, a real testament to the diverse - and frankly absurd - range of talents possessed by a footballer who is at the very top of his game.

We all love football for its unpredictability and there is no player who can mix it up quite like the leading light of North American football.

We hear so much about Davies' ability to explode past an opposing defender or make up yards in the blink of an eye, but quick players so often make one trick ponies. This particular Canadian is anything but.

Davies underpins his undeniable natural attributes with a refined touch, a killer instinct and a sublime footballing brain. A complete, multi-dimensional player in a position where pace and physicality are king, he stands out like a sore thumb for all the right reasons.

Having initially arrived at Bayern as a winger from Vancouver Whitecaps, one of Niko Kovac's final acts as manager was to try him at left-back.

It was there that Davies became a key figure for Hansi Flick's record-breaking treble-winners, assisting four goals in their run to the Champions League final, and his second half of the 2019/20 season was up there with any six-month period enjoyed by a full-back in the modern day.

And this is for a club that knows its left-backs. Just ask Phillip Lahm.

Davies may have a way to go before he can be regarded in the same terms as those who have come before him, and while his year on the scene has set the bar remarkably high, longevity is the one box he is yet to tick on his road to true superstardom.

As things stand, however, Davies is one of the absolute best in the business and has the trophy haul to match.

Before he had even turned 20, Davies had a Champions League, a Bundesliga and a DFB-Pokal Cup under his belt - if those are his entree achievements then you shudder to think of what's to come in the future.

His personality goes some way towards explaining how a player at his age has been able to take the bull by the horns at a club the magnitude of Bayern Munich. It's something Marco Bossio, who coached him before he got his break with Vancouver Whitecaps, spotted right away.

"He's very humble. He always wants to improve and get better, he's very respectful, he's a really nice kid. People fall in love with Alphonso's infectious attitude off the field," Bossio told the Bundesliga's YouTube channel.

We've seen that humility shining throughout his short time in the spotlight. Hearts were warmed when a video emerged of him freaking out at meeting Alex Sandro, the fan in him coming to the fore as he gushed over the Brazilian's performances for him in FIFA.

But not only is Davies one of the most likeable footballers around, it just so happens that he's also one of the best.

Undoubtedly there is plenty more to come from Davies, and it speaks to his astonishing ability that despite only making his first start for Bayern a year ago, we're already talking about him as world class; especially when you consider how difficult that year has been.

Through it all, however - a change of manager, a change of position and a global pandemic - his talent, adaptability and attitude have persevered. Both functionally and aesthetically, Davies is one of the very best left-backs around - and could go on to achieve great things if he continues on this trajectory.

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