Alphonso Davies is just 17 years old, but the Vancouver Whitecaps winger has already proven himself to be too promising of a talent to stay on MLS’s shores. Last week, Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich agreed to pay $13.5 million to sign the Canadian teenager (the fee may rise to $22.5 million, depending on performance-related clauses), making it the most expensive outgoing transfer in Major League Soccer history. Davies’ contract with Bayern is for five years. In case you are wondering, yes, he is very good at soccer.
Davies was born in a Ghanian refugee camp and resettled in Canada with his family when he was five years old (he plays for Canada’s national team). He isn’t allowed to join Bayern Munich until after his birthday in November, as FIFA rules prohibit players younger than 18 from moving to clubs in the European Union. He will finish this season with the Whitecaps, meaning he gets to spend the next few months making defenders look like fools right here in North America.
It’s somewhat ironic, but Major League Soccer actually benefits from losing one of its premier talents like this. MLS has long had a reputation as a retirement community for ancient superstars (the signings of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney play into this image), but it has prioritized talent development in recent years. Davies attracting the attention of Germany’s greatest club all the way from Vancouver is a sign that MLS can be a legitimate pipeline to international stardom.
On Saturday, Davies celebrated his transfer by scoring two incredible goals against Minnesota United.
Alphonso Davies’ 18th birthday can’t come fast enough for MLS defenders.