Vancouver Whitecaps FC academy product Alphonso Davies has faced stiff competition from Lucas Hernandez for minutes at left back this season heading into Wednesday’s Champions League opener against Atletico Madrid.
Head coach Hansi Flick has offered an explanation for Davies' reduced role so far, arguing that the 19-year-old’s form has dropped a level from the highs of last season.
"Alphonso's form dropped a bit," Flick said, per ESPN. "But he gets all our support. We benefit from his pace, his energy. It's important he gets back on track."
Davies is coming off an incredible 2019-20 season, helping Bayern win the treble and enter the conversation around being the world’s best left back. But he only played one minute in last weekend’s 4-1 win over newly-promoted Arminia Bielefeld, with the French defender seeming to rise in the depth chart.
"It's a bit normal to see a young player go through such a spell following an incredible season,” Flick said. "We will support and help him."
Davies originally moved to Bayern Munich for a reported $22 million back in 2018, though carving out a consistent role at one of Europe’s premier club is no small feat. He can also play winger, so perhaps some minutes will arrive further upfield.
Bayern were drawn into Group A of the Champions League alongside Jesse Marsch’s Red Bull Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moscow and Atletico Madrid.