Two years ago, Alphonso Davies was a fresh-faced 10th grader who had just become the second-youngest player ever to appear in an Major League Soccer game. Today, the Vancouver Whitecaps star is off to join one of the biggest pro clubs in the world.
Here is a little more information on the 17-year-old Canadian.
WHY IS HE IN THE NEWS?
After several days of negotiations, it appears the transfer of Davies from the Whitecaps to Bayern Munich has been completed.
According to multiple German media reports, the deal has been completed – Bayern president Uli Hoeness is quoted in one such report as saying Davies will sign the contract with sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić on Tuesday in Philadelphia. Bayern is currently in the United States as part of a pre-season tour to prepare for the upcoming Bundesliga season.
Official details of the deal have not yet to be released, but it’s been reported the transfer fee is in the $13 million US range, and that bonuses that could push it as high as $19 million.
Davies will remain with the Whitecaps for the rest of the MLS season before joining Bayern.
WHAT MAKES HIM SPECIAL?
The fact he’s 17 and is one of the Whitecaps’ best players is impressive enough. But he has incredible maturity and composure, specifically when he’s running at defenders. Even former England international Ashley Cole felt his wrath.
Please don't embarrass yourself with statements like that https://t.co/IcbDzqYfTF
— Ashley Cole (@TheRealAC3) April 3, 2017
Davies, normally a left winger, has also operated centrally at times with the Whitecaps. He has top-notch vision, dynamism, dribbling, excellent ball control under pressure, fearlessness and even tracks back when necessary.
But it’s clear when the teenager collects the ball in open space, he’s likely going to produce a moment of brilliance.
Davies has contributed three goals and eight assists this season. No other player has been involved in more goals for Vancouver in 2018.
To top it off, Davies won the Golden Boot and the best young player award at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup as a 16-year-old. His three goals in the opening two group matches helped guide Canada to the knockout stage for the first time since 2009. Not bad for a kid who became the youngest-ever player for the Canadian men’s national team.
Born in a refugee camp in Ghana, Davies’s parents fled their native Liberia to Ghana to avoid the civil war, before emigrating to Canada. They eventually settled in Edmonton when Davies was five years old.
After joining “Free Footie” in Edmonton, Davies was discovered by local clubs in the area. The Whitecaps also took notice and he eventually landed in the club’s Residency Program at 14.
Following a strong start to 2016 with Whitecaps FC 2, the MLS side’s former USL affiliate, Vancouver signed Davies to a professional contract, becoming the second-youngest player to sign an MLS deal.
Davies first broke out in the CONCACAF Champions League, netting the winning goal versus Sporting Kansas City to send the Whitecaps to the knockout stage. He also scored against the New York Red Bulls in the quarterfinals that same season.
Now with more than 82 appearances in professional soccer, Davies is an integral part of the squad and as a result, was named to the MLS All-Star team to face Juventus on Aug. 1.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT HIM
“You can see he has speed, he has skills. Offensively, transition wise. He’s very good … He has potential with that speed, with that technique, with those skills. If he works hard, also for the defence, of course he can go on to play in Europe.” – Chicago Fire midfielder, ex-Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Germany international Bastian Schweinsteiger.
“He’s sort of a generational player … I think him making that commitment to Canada, the way he’s done it, the way he’s looked at our country and decided that this who I want to fly the flag for … I think Alphonso is telling everyone ‘come and represent Canada'” – Canada men’s national team coach John Herdman.
“This [confidence] is important to have in young players coming into the system. You have to have a bit of confidence and just believe that you can go out and play with anybody.” – Canadian midfielder Atiba Hutchinson.
“He has pace, he has ability, and he’s very calm and mature for his age. He’s able to do things that at his age I wasn’t able to master. It’s great to see that he’s able to be an x-factor for our team.” – Canadian midfielder Patrice Bernier.
HE SAID IT
“I’m trying to stay humble for my mom. She gave me the opportunity and I don’t want to be getting a big head and then something happens and she goes ‘what happened?’ I don’t want to disappoint her.”