Real Madrid have one area of their starting team where there are more doubts than anywhere else: full-back.
On the right-side, Dani Carvajal has mixed in significant injury issues with inconsistent performances over recent years. That said, when the going has gotten tough, he was excellent in Europe last season, shutting down Liverpool’s Luis Diaz in the final.
Opposite him is Ferland Mendy. The French left-back won his place in the team not long after joining, beating out Marcelo for his spot. The two could barely be more different. Mendy is safe with the ball and a demon without it, he is one of the most difficult defenders to beat for a winger anywhere. Marcelo on the other hand was a ball of technique, force and timing down the left, essentially saving the need for a left winger in the side. However when defending, the Brazilian was often found wanting against the biggest sides.
It appears Real Madrid are missing the offensive output of Marcelo. As per Diario AS, they want to make Alphonso Davies one of their star signings in 2024.
Davies’ contract at Bayern Munich is up in 2025 and Los Blancos feel they may be able to pry the Canadian from Bavaria for a fee of what is likely to be around €100m.
The reasons for pursuing Davies are multifold. On a very simple basis, Davies is one of, if not the, best left-backs in the world. Announcing his presence onto the world stage in 2020 as Bayern stormed towards the Champions League, Davies was one of the stars of the show. That was a well-known fact in Spain, as Davies was responsible for destroying the right side of the Blaugrana as they sunk to an 8-2 victory.
At just 22 years of age, Davies has likely at least a decade at the top of the game if he maintains his fitness. When Real Madrid look to sign him, he will still be just 24, allowing them to take advantage of what might be the peak of his career.
Going forward, Davies would provide an entirely different threat to Mendy. Although Carvajal gets forward well, he is nowhere near as offensive as many modern-day full-backs. The combination of Mendy and Carvajal is conservative by many modern standards, while Davies, as he demonstrated at the World Cup, has the quality to break down defences and understand the gaps.
Normally that requires a more defensive full-back on the other side to balance out the spaces, as Bayern have done so with Benjamin Pavard. As seen against Barcelona this season though, Davies’ remarkable recovery pace allows him to snuff out attacks even while getting forward often.
The 22-year-old has recorded the second-top speed in the World Cup (35.6km) and third-top speed in the Bundesliga (36km) this season. It is thought that Davies’ supreme physical abilities are what have convinced Real Madrid to go all in for him.
Another aspect of his performances that makes a strong argument for his signing is his personality. Rarely giving up, Davies is relentless in his approach. While there is less need for him to lead with Bayern, for Canada Davies was directing play for a young side at their first World Cup. As has been seen, it is Real Madrid’s composure under pressure that manages to see them through adversity – something Davies would fit into.
No doubt Bayern Munich will do their utmost to retain Davies. It is not hard to see why Los Blancos are so keen on bringing in a star with so many facets to their game.