World Cup star was 'offered trial' by Man Utd in 2018, scout was desperate for Red Devils to sign him
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Bayern Munich and Canada star Alphonso Davies is impressing at the 2022 World Cup, having scored the fastest goal of the tournament against Croatia. But, had things turned out differently, he could have been a Manchester United player.
The 22-year-old bounced back from his missed penalty in Canada's group opener against Belgium to score within 90 seconds against Croatia.
It was a well-taken goal, with Davies powering a header from Taylor Buchanan's cross beyond the dive of Dominik Livakovic.
Davies plays in an advanced role on the left side of midfield for Canada, further forward than his usual left-back role at Bayern.
He originally signed for the German giants from Vancouver Whitecaps as a left midfielder in 2018, having scored eight goals and provided 11 assists in his final season in MLS.
But injuries meant that Bayern coach Niko Kovac deployed him as a left-back early on in his career. He has never looked back, developing his defensive attributes to make himself a complete full-back.
Davies is one of the biggest talents in young football, and while the Bavarians are reaping the rewards of that right now, the Canada star could have plied his trade for Man Utd instead.
Davies recommended to Man Utd, offered trial before Bayern move
Speaking to Manchester Evening News in 2020, former club scout Jorge Alvial explained that Davies was the first player he recommended to United when he joined the scouting setup.
Then 15, the Canada international was representing Vancouver Whitecaps' youth team at the time.
Alvial explained: "When I saw him play, he was in the B team at Vancouver, and the speed he had at 15, he was already going by guys that had been playing in the USA for a while.
"He was left-footed, his vision was great. His technique was good, not great, but with technique you can improve it.
"But the things that he saw at that age, I went, 'Wow. This is a superstar'. Right away, for two years, I recommended him at Man United."
Canadian outlet CTV reported in December 2017 that Davies had received an invite to train with United during the following January. However, it was dependent on clearance from Vancouver.
But the trial never happened, with Davies being called up to a Canada Olympic training camp.
What did Davies say?
Speaking after signing a new long-term contract with Bayern in 2020, the 22-year-old told the Daily Mail that he knew of interest from English clubs, but was always focused on his current club at the time.
He said: "I know there were rumours about England. I know different teams had approached my agents.
"My full focus at the time was Vancouver, and trying to get into the play-offs. Behind the scenes, my people were dealing with it, so I didn't need to think about it a whole lot.
"Teams approached my people, and they relayed the messages to me. We sat down with Bayern Munich, and as soon as I heard them, there was no hesitation that I wanted to join this team."
Bayern eventually signed the 17-year-old starlet for over $14 million in 2018. It is fair to say they have recouped that value, and plenty more, through the player's performances.