Can't beat 'em? Join 'em! 3 REASONS WHY Alphonso Davies should consider Manchester City
Bayern Munich's exit from the UEFA Champions League this season leaves a big question-mark over the future of Canadian men's national team star Alphonso Davies.
The 22-year-old left-back currently has two years left on his contract with the German side and ultimately Bayern must make a decision to either renew his contract or sell him this summer in order to obtain the best value for him ... all while balancing what Davies himself might see as the best decision for his own career, too.
Sky Germany journalist Florian Plettenberg, the reporter closest to Bayern Munich, says Real Madrid and Manchester City both are interested in signing Alphonso Davies and could even make a move for the Bayern full-back as early as this summer. According to Transfermarkt, Davies is the most valuable left-back in the world with his current value set at 70 million euros, making him the most valuable Canadian men’s player of all time.
So, having won literally everything there is to win at Bayern Munich already, it might be time for Davies to make a move – and why not join the most in-form and potentially the most exciting team in the world, Manchester City?
Fitting into the City system
The system which the blue side of Manchester uses is quite modern. Over the past few years, high-intensity and pressing football was the norm but now that has been adjusted to positioning on the pitch. Man City usually line up in either a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 on paper, but during the match we see them use a 3-2-4-1 while attacking and either a 4-4-2 or 4-1-4-1 while defending.
In the attacking phase, we see the right back shift into the middle to form a double pivot with the defensive midfielder, which then causes the back line to mould into a three-man defence. This allows the traditional left back to act as almost a left winger while the left winger moves into the middle. This helps Man City dominate the middle of the pitch while also overwhelming it, causing the wings to be more open. When a midfield three alongside a winger are compacted in the middle of the pitch on top of that pressure the opponent, it causes the opposition players to panic which led to errors that Man City capitalizes on.
If Davies were to play in this role we will see him more involved in the final third which will lead to a higher number of goals and assists per season. This position will improve his productivity, decision-making, crossing, and finishing. In the defensive phase, Man City tend to morph back into a deeper line as the midfielders and fullbacks drop back. The wingers are instructed to track back and help the full-backs defend in transition or on counterattacks.
This will help Davies defend in numbers and not rely on too many opposition players. At Bayern Munich, the wingers only track back if they’ve made a mistake which leaves sometimes the full-back outnumbered.
The Pep Guardiola effect
Pep Guardiola is without a doubt the best manager in the world and one of the best of all time. The impact he’s had on soccer is something we’ve never seen before, from passing out of the back, relying on dominating possession, high intensity, high pressure, inverted fullbacks and winger, the list goes on. Not only is Pep a maker of the system and a tactical genius, but he also makes players better.
We’ve seen over the years how Pep signs players and makes them better and smarter. A good example from this season would be Nathan Ake, the Dutch international centre back was signed by Pep by in 2020 from Premier League side Bournemouth. At that time Ake was a good young defender in the league and had decent numbers. Not Pep has moulded him into one of the best defenders in the Premier League today, both as a centre-back and left-back. Pep saw the talent that Ake had and built upon it, improving his defensive awareness, reading of the game, and passing range ability. Today, Ake is considered one of the best defenders in the league.
Davies's game would improve dramatically under Pep, he would not only become a better defender but also a better attacker. We’ve seen stars Pep has signed over recent years like Ruben Dias, John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin de Bruyne, and Erling Haaland become even better than before. Pep time at Bayern Munich would also come in handy for Davies as he knows how the Bundesliga operates in their style of play and can adapt that to make him better, like what he did with Gundogan.
Pep has consistently unlocked players' full potential at the highest level of soccer and Davies would be no exception. Considering that Davies now has stiff competition at left-back in João Cancelo – six years his senior and more than capable of starting, too – it may be worth heading the other way to unlock even more of his potential under Pep.
Playing on the biggest stage
The Premier League is without a doubt the biggest and most watched league in the world.
It’s the league that obtains the most views and interaction, the reason for that is the league is the most entertaining as anyone can beat anyone. We’ve seen a Leicester City team one year battle relegation and the next win the title. Having multiple top and historic clubs in the league like Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham also brings in viewership. Players in the league get more recognition as there are more comprehensive analyses, coverage, and punditry discussions.
A move to England would not only benefit Davies but also Canada. Davies himself would get more recognition as one of the best left-backs in the world while representing Canada. In the history of the Premier League, only 11 Canadians have featured for 14 different clubs – and none have actually won the league.
An example that Davies could have on Canada by joining the Premier League is Mohammed Salah. Salah is an Egyptian forward playing for Liverpool before he joined Liverpool Egypt didn’t get coverage of the Premier League and it was a country not many knew in the world of football. Now there is full Premier League coverage in Egypt and media coverage, we’ve seen Egypt's tourism and economy increase since 2017 with Salah's move from Roma to Liverpool playing a main factor.
Davies's potential move would bring eyes to Canada, both sportingly and economically, and for a player with as massive a following on Twitch as him, the off-field benefits could also be quite lucrative.