Alphonso Davies is no stranger to the world stage despite being just 17 years old. After an MLS transfer record deal with Bayern Munich, he’ll be a regular on it.
Bayern Munich and Vancouver Whitecaps confirmed rumors and announced the signing of Alphonso Davies with the German giants on Wednesday. Davies, a Canadian winger, will join Bayern on Jan. 1, 2019, for an MLS transfer record fee of $13.5 million, according to a source. That fee could jump to $22 million through performance-based add-ons, according to the Whitecaps.
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) July 25, 2018
The previous MLS transfer record fee paid for an MLS player belonged to Jozy Altidore, when Villarreal paid the New York Red Bulls $9.9 million, meaning this deal could more than double the previous record.
"I am very happy with my move to Bayern,” Davies told Bayern Munich’s website. “As a kid I always dreamed of such a moment. Now the dream has come true. But now the work continues, now I have to give everything to take advantage of this opportunity."
Alphonso Davies is the future of Canadian football, perhaps more so than Christian Pulisic is the future of U.S. soccer. Davies was born in a Ghanaian refugee camp to Liberian parents before his family moved to Ontario when he was 5. He settled in Alberta and is a Whitecaps homegrown player.
Davies made his debut with Vancouver at the age of 16, becoming the youngest player not named Freddy Adu to appear in an MLS match. This season he has three goals and a team-high eight assists in 20 appearances. His 85 completed dribbles lead the league and rank fourth-most all time, putting Davies on pace to break the record of 114.
"Alphonso Davies is a very great talent,” Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said. “At only 17, he promises a lot for the future. Alphonso already has great skills and was not hotly courted by many top clubs for nothing. So I am very pleased that Davies has chosen FC Bayern.”
Because Davies won’t turn 18 until Nov. 2, the MLS transfer record deal won’t go through until Jan. 1, at the start of the winter transfer window. This means he’ll finish the 2018 season with the Whitecaps and be able to play in the MLS All-Star Game against Juventus on Aug. 1 in Atlanta.
For many, Davies burst onto the scene during last summer’s Gold Cup, when the 16-year-old became the first player born in the 2000s to score at a major international tournament.
He also starred on the world stage in June, as one of three young players given the opportunity to speak on behalf of the United Bid to host the 2026 World Cup, which was successful for Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
Now, in addition to shouldering the burden of leading Canada in the 2026 World Cup, likely the country’s first appearance on the world stage since 1986, Alphonso Davies must shoulder the burden as the MLS transfer record holder.
Let’s hope he fares better in Europe than Jozy Altidore did.