Former Canada coach Octavio Zambrano says Bayern Munich are in for a treat when Alphonso Davies arrives at the club in January 2019, tipping the Vancouver Whitecaps talent to become “an amazing player.”

Zambrano gave Davies his national team debut in June 2017, and believes the 17-year-old has all the attributes to be a hit at Germany’s most successful club.

“His power is really impressive,” Zambrano, currently in charge of Colombian outfit Independent Medellin, told Goal. “He’s a player with certain physical abilities that are elite level. He’s a big kid that is very strong, but that strength and speed is also coupled with a very good sense of how to play in the last third of the field, which is really what separates elite players from non-elite players.”

Little over a year has passed since Zambrano brought Davies into the international fold – first in a friendly against Curaçao on 14 June 2017, and later for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where his young charge scooped the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer.

Davies is now a regular starter at club level for the Whitecaps, and currently sits sixth in the MLS assist charts (eight) and top of the table for most dribbles completed (98). He also appeared in the recent MLS All Star game against Italian giants Juventus, but Zambrano is convinced the best is yet to come.

“Even when I had him, and watched him dominate, you could still see that he was a work in progress, with a lot of room to grow,” he said. “Once he gets those tools, like strengthening his root foot and crossing, and timing his runs, once he perfects all that, he’s going to just be an amazing player.”

Alphonso Davies has scored three goals in six appearances for the Canada national team. © imago

Davies won’t be able to formally join Bayern until January as FIFA rules prohibit non-EU players from moving outside of their home country before they turn 18. Although a sizeable step up in quality, Zambrano is confident the six-time Canada international – 18 in November – will rise to the challenge.

“The way he’s handled the limelight, he’s been through it and can handle it,” Zambrano explained. “He has qualities you can’t teach, and he has also shown he can be fearless in situations where you might not expect a young player to be so poised. I’m sure most Bayerns don’t know much about him, but they should be very excited about the player Bayern is getting.”

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