Bayern signing Davies was 'a bargain' at $13.5m - Zambrano

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Timothy Nwachukwu
The former Canada boss gave the talented youngster his first national team cap, and thinks the MLS-record transfer was a steal for the Germans

Alphonso Davies' $13.5 million (€11.5m/£10m) transfer to Bayern Munich broke a 10-year-old transfer fee record for a Major League Soccer player

That number may double the record if Davies meets certain incentives, but Octavio Zambrano still thinks Bayern has landed a steal.

"Bayern got a bargain, no doubt. One hundred percent," Zambrano told Goal. "His best years are ahead of him and he has so much more in his game. I think they got a superb player for a very good deal. Alphonso is a player of three or four times that amount."

Zambrano gave Davies his national team debut for Canada little more than a year ago and coached him through his Golden Boot-winning performance at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the summer of 2017. Now the head coach for Colombian side Independiente Medellin, Zambrano wasn't at all surprised to see his former player emerge as a transfer target of several of the world's best teams. 

"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," Zambrano 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."

Zambrano is no stranger to Bayern Munich, having managed club legend Lothar Matthaeus during the defender's lone season in MLS, with the 2000 New York/New Jersey MetroStars. He spoke fondly of the world class quality Matthaeus displayed, and he believes Davies has the attributes to be a different-maker with the German champions.

"His power is really impressive. He’s a player with certain physical abilities that are elite level," Zambrano. "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."

Davies first emerged on the international seen at the 2017 Gold Cup, which came shortly after his Canada debut. He scored three goals in three group matches at that Gold Cup, a performance that ratcheted up the interest in a teenager who made his professional debut just a year earlier at the age of 15.

"It was interesting to see him be bombarded by the limelight during that tournament," Zambrano said. "You could see the buzz, there were agents, scouts from different teams around the world in the lobby and I think he got a bit overwhelmed, but now he's been through that and he can handle it."

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Davies will join Bayern in January, after completing the current MLS season with the Vancouver Whitecaps, and though he has shown glimpses of his impressive quality since signing his record deal, there is still some question of whether he will be able to handle the jump from MLS to Bayern Munich.

Zambrano has no doubt Davies can handle the jump.

"He may be only 17, but 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," Zambrano said. "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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