SEATTLE – If Vancouver Whitecaps fans are wondering what their team may look like post-Alphonso Davies, they’ll be hoping that Saturday afternoon’s 2-0 loss at the Seattle Sounders is not an indication.
Vancouver’s talented 17-year-old winger missed the Cascadia derby, as rumors swirled around an imminent move to German giants Bayern Munich for what is reportedly an eight-figure transfer fee.
Davies was in the matchday squad for Wednesday’s Canadian Championship loss in Montreal but didn’t take to the field, and subsequently did not train with the team on Friday. While no one at the club would confirm any of the reports right now, something certainly seems to be in the works.
“Alphonso’s got permission from the football club to take the weekend off,” Robinson told reporters after his team’s loss in Seattle. “It was the same process as Wednesday night, although people didn’t know that and made assumptions that he was able to play, which he wasn’t due to what is going on at the moment. I think you’ll read a little bit more news in the coming day or two, but obviously it’s positive for him and us.
“He’s in Vancouver. So he’s not in Seattle, because if he was he would have been playing and I think you saw we missed him.”
Davies has been influential for the Whitecaps this year, leading the team with eight assists and contributing three goals. He could have had more but his consistency hasn’t been there at times, and neither has his finishing, all things that will need to be developed as his career progresses.
But Robinson feels he has the skills to deliver and believes the approach Vancouver have shown with him these past two years has been the correct developmental path for him.
“All along we’ve said, when I threw him in as a 15-year-old and people said I was crazy, that the potential that he had was phenomenal. Over the last two years people have said what are you doing and why aren’t you playing him in every minute of every game, why are you protecting him from the media and why aren’t you putting him on ESPN, why did you leave him out, and things like that.
“I’ve said, just be patient. I’ve been here before, I know what works and what doesn’t. Maybe in the next day or so you’ll see and you’ll say, ‘Okay right, maybe he does know what he’s talking about.’”
The Whitecaps clearly missed Davies’ impact in Seattle. Vancouver looked a shell of themselves without the young Canadian international's attacking flair up the wings. If Davies truly is out the door, the “million dollar question,” per Robinson, becomes about how the club replaces such a talent.
If the deal goes ahead soon, Robinson and the Whitecaps will be faced with the choice of spending the money now to try and kick start their playoff push or hold on to make sure they get a player they have been coveting that may not be available at this point.
“We're not a club that just makes random transactions, based upon if we feel we are desperate,” Robinson said. “We're not desperate. If we feel we can strengthen and it's right within the parameters we work in, then we'll do it. If we don't then we won't. It's as simple as that."