Alphonso Davies’ rise to becoming a Champions League winner at Bayern Munich once saw him take in training sessions with first team and U14 squads while at the Vancouver Whitecaps, Robert Earnshaw has revealed.
The jet-heeled left-back saw his potential spotted early while in Canada, with his ability being fast-tracked through an MLS youth system.
A senior bow was made for the Whitecaps at just 15 years of age, making him the competition’s second-youngest debutant after former teen sensation Freddy Adu.
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It did not take long for European football’s leading lights to take note, with Bayern moving to put a record-setting transfer in place during the summer of 2018.
Davies’ meteoric rise to prominence has continued in Germany and he now has a European Cup winners’ medal to his name after helping to edge out Paris Saint-Germain in the 2020 final.
He has come a long way in a short space of time, but Earnshaw claims to have never been in any doubt that the youngster was destined for top.
Davies’ drive and ambition was obvious from a young age, with a man who spent time working in the Vancouver Whitecaps’ academy system after hanging up his boots telling BBC Radio 5 Live: “He was 14 when I first met him, just as I started coaching.
“Somebody didn’t tell me his age and halfway through coaching someone said ‘he’s 14’ and it was like ‘what, what do you mean 14?!’
“You could see that he was very childlike in his manners, in his ways, and as soon as someone said that it was like, ‘ok’.
“The funny thing was, he started training with the first team. He would train with the first team and I’m training the U14s and 15s in the afternoon and he finishes with the first team and later on he used to come to my training session in the afternoon and wanted to join in. That is just how he was, he loved football.
“He’s very humble, he doesn’t care that he’s been with the first team, he wants to go and play with the 14s and 15s and join in there. It’s just who he is.
“He’s very fearless but he’s just so pure. He doesn’t care where he is and what’s happening around him, he’s just the same. It’s beautiful.”
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Earnshaw added on the Whitecaps’ efforts to prevent Davies from doing too much: “The first few times I let him, I was like ‘yeah, no problem, come and join in’.
“After a little while I had to say to him ‘listen, you can’t train with us anymore, it’s time’.
“It was one of those, but he’s just improving all the time. With his speed and who he is and his ability, it started to show very, very quickly.”
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