By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Canada's superstar: Alphonso Davies

The second article of the Bundesliga's Brightest Talents series, where we look at the most promising under-23 players, focuses upon the Bayern Munich left-back Alphonso Davies.

The 21-year-old has already proved himself in the Bundesliga and on the international stage for Canada, and the fact he possesses all the qualities of a modern full-back has seen him emerge as a key player for the German champions.
Davies may only be 21 years old, but he has already made over 100 appearances for Bayern Munich, while featuring 30 times for his country. If he was to quit football tomorrow, he would retire having won three Bundesliga titles, two DFB Pokals, two DFL Supercups, a Champions League, a UEFA Super Cup and a FIFA Club World Cup. It is a phenomenal list of honours and one that is certain to keep growing over the span of the Canadian’s career.

Since making the transition from the MLS to the Bundesliga in January 2019, Davies has performed to such a high level that he is now regarded as one of the best left-backs in the world. His skill, dribbling ability and phenomenal pace has seen him emerge as an attacking asset to Bayern as well as boasting the required defensive qualities.

In fact, his ability to go past players with ease is what makes Davies unique as a left-back. It would be lazy to attribute his superb dribbling ability to just pace, when in fact his close ball control is superb. With all the talented individuals that ply their trade in the German top tier, it is amazing to see that the Canadian has dribbled past 43 players this season – comfortably more than any other individual in the Bundesliga.

With the ball at his feet, Davies is truly a sight to behold, and he is crucial to Bayern’s success, demonstrated by the fact he has carried the ball into the penalty area more times than any other individual in the league this season. Such skill has allowed Bayern to utilise Davies in more advanced positions when required.

Although he may mesmerise defences with his superb skill, it is not a case that when Davies gets himself into dangerous positions, he is unable to deliver in the final third. In fact, his ability to make the right pass or cross is another strength, but it is also an area of his game that is continuing to improve. Last season, Davies would have been disappointed to have only 2 assists to his name, but this term he has already surpassed that number and will be aiming to build upon the 3 assists he already has this season.

Ironically for a left-back, the qualities that have been mentioned so far are anything but defensive. However, the Canadian has also shown he is confident without the ball, with Davies possessing the highest percentage for dribblers tackled last season. With 66.7% of dribblers tackled last term, it is very rare that opposition players manage to get past the Canada international, given his exceptional defensive instincts.

There is still room for improvement and one such area for Davies to develop is his ability in the air. Last season, he only managed to win 47.5% of his aerial duels, but given he is still in the early years of his career, that is an area of his game that will undoubtedly improve.

At 21, Davies is the epitome of the modern full-back - a player that can defend, but also offers quality in attack to the benefit of his team. It will be intriguing to follow his progress for both his club side and his national team, where he is well on his way to helping Canada qualify for their second World Cup.

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