Canadian international Alphonso Davies voted Bundesliga rookie of the year

Canadian international Alphonso Davies voted Bundesliga rookie of the year

Canadian international Alphonso Davies’ remarkable season continued Friday when he was voted Bundesliga rookie of the year.

The 19-year-old Bayern Munich fullback beat out Jonjoe Kenny (Schalke), Marcus Thuram (Borussia Monchengladbach), Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund) and Ismail Jakobs (Cologne).

Voting was split between fans (40 per cent), clubs (30 per cent) and media (30 per cent).

All the nominees had won rookie of the month honours this season, with Davies claiming the award in May.

Davies has turned heads around the globe this season for his performances in Bundesliga and Champions League play. He set a Bundesliga speed record last time out in a 1-0 win at Werder Bremen that earned the Bavarian powerhouse an eighth straight league title.

Injuries to Niklas Sule and Lucas Hernandez moved Australian international David Alaba to central defence early in the season, opening the left fullback spot for the Canadian. Davies has since become a fixture there under coach Hansi Flick.

A converted winger, Davies has been an offensive threat while using his speed on defence to track down opponents.

“I’ve always been confident Davies can fulfil the role of left back,” Flick said during the German league’s winter break, according to Bundesliga.com. “He’s our get-out-of-jail-free card with his pace and strength to recover his position, and he’s a great passer of the ball.”

Davies was clocked at 36.51 km/h in the first half against Bremen, according to the Bundesliga. That erases the fastest recorded speed in league history (36.19 km/h by Dortmund’s Achraf Hakimi) since detailed data collection began in 2011.

Veteran forward Thomas Muller dubbed Davies “The Bayern Road Runner” because of his blazing speed.

Davies has kept Hernandez, Bayern’s record transfer at 80 million euros ($122 million) on the bench, with talk that the French international may be on the move again.

Davies cost Bayern US$22 million in July 2018, then an MLS record transfer. Born in a Ghana refugee camp to parents who fled the civil war in Liberia, he moved to Canada with his family when he was five, eventually settling in Edmonton.

He has won 17 caps for Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 19, 2020.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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