When Alphonso Davies was signed to the Vancouver Whitecaps 2 on February 23rd, 2016, we knew he was not long for this club; that he has bigger heights to reach.
With rumors swirling all season about his pending transfer, once he turns 18 on November 2nd, 2018, it seems this week those rumors are coming to a head. Having been linked with most of the big European clubs in the last year, the latest, and strongest rumor, is a move to powerhouse Bayern Munich; one of the top five clubs in the world.
Davies has been absent from last Wednesday’s Voyageurs Cup battle in Montreal and this past weekend’s match in Seattle, as he is away from the club, presumably checking out the setup at Bayern Munich and getting checked over by the club.
At first, it was rumored that Davies would be transferred for an MLS record 12 million, while recently it seems the Caps front office has become a bit more demanding, asking for an additionally 6 million. While 18 million may seem a bit high, it is certainly something that Bayern can afford, and it seems good business for the Whitecaps to have a steep price. With all the (earned) attention Davies has received, someone will pay 18 million.
We got in contact with our SB Nation Bayern Munich counterpart Bavarian Football Works and their writer Phillip Quinn and completed a “3 Questions: Transfer Addition” to give them a bit more insight on Alphonso Davies and for us to get an idea of how Bayern typically develops their players and what can be expected should Davies join the club. Our responses to their questions can be found here. As for our three questions to them.
1) How do you see Alphonso Davies fitting into Bayern Munich?
Davies would be in a long tradition of Bayern wingers who are incredibly fast and dynamic. Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery have been a staple at Bayern for the last decade, and Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry look poised to continue that tradition. Davies could slot right in there with them, giving Bayern some great depth.
Positive for him: Robben and Ribery are clearly on the decline, and I think they’ll both be gone next summer…although I have thought that for the last few years. While Coman and Gnabry are the clear heir apparents, Davies has the potential to push them.
2) Where will Davies likely be developed/play the next two to three years?
This is actually a really interesting question, which I don’t have the answer to give you. Bayern have never been shy about spending money on players to play with the U-19 side and develop, but it’s never been this kind of money. If the rumors are true and Bayern are spending this kind of money, I don’t really know where we go from here. Davies could stay in MLS on loan until the end of the season. Bayern could bring him in and stick him with the club’s U-19 until his 18th birthday, when he would be eligible to play with the first team. He could stay with the U-19s for the entire season. He could regularly train with the first team and fight for minutes with Coman, Gnabry, Robben, and Ribery. I truly don’t know what to expect.
My gut tells me that their plan is this (with no evidence): Sign him now. Trains with the first team all week on the America tour. Is part of the group of kids that trains with the first team and U-19s, while playing with the U-19s regularly until he turns 18. Once he turns 18…no idea. Bayern aren’t really Real Madrid. They aren’t spending money and never playing people.
3) What concerns may Bayern fans have about Davies, such as him being Canadian (not exactly a soccer hotspot!) or coming from MLS (is MLS still looked at poorly in Europe?).
That he has not proven himself yet. I think Bayern fans will most definitely take a “wait and see” approach to the signing. He’s clearly a talented kid, so he’ll just need to get the opportunity to show what he can do. I think most Bundesliga fans are more open to players coming from North America now, due to the vast success that Canadians and Americans have had in the league over the years.
What are your thoughts on the pending move? Does it seem like a good fit for him?