If Real Madrid do not have serious questions over their left-back spot, as has been reported for some time, then they should.
French defender Ferland Mendy can be the equivalent of a shutdown corner in the NFL when he is at his best, almost impregnable. There were always question marks over his ability with the ball, but over the past two years, injuries have robbed him of the defensive solidity that once characterised him.
On the other side of the coin is Fran Garcia. Returning to the club for €5m this summer after two and a half successful seasons at Rayo Vallecano, Garcia is defined by pace, bounding forward and an incredible engine. The latter gets him up and down the pitch easily, but his ability to overwhelm defenders has also become a real virtue.
Yet defensively, Garcia is decent but not devastating Rarely making mistakes, he does not stand out in that department. Garcia was brought back to see what he could do at the spot, but it seems plausible that he was supposed to rotate with Mendy. As tends to be the case at Real Madrid, there is plenty of speculation over a potential long-term answer.
The dream signing, and the only real name that has been mentioned with any force, is Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies. The Canadian left-back is reportedly open to a move to the Santiago Bernabeu, and has spoken to former Bayern teammate David Alaba over the matter.
However Fichajes reference BILD information saying that he has not closed the door on remaining at Bayern Munich either. Were the Bavarian side to offer him a bumper new contract that would put him into the top echelons of the game, Davies would consider it.
The 22-year-old is out of contract in 2025, and it appears that either Bayern will try to renew his deal, or sell him next summer. It means Real Madrid would be able to secure him at a knockdown price – the question will now be whether Los Blancos can afford that fee plus matching whatever Bayern have to offer to Davies personally.
While he is not the only talented left-back in the world, he is fairly unique. For Real Madrid, the cost of Davies seems almost a secondary matter. Mendy and Garcia are good options in the position, but both have limitations far exceeded by Davies.
Even if the Canadian captain has struggled at times with injury and fitness, he has the best part of his career ahead of him, likely taking him until his late twenties.
His recovery pace was one of the key reasons that Bayern won the Champions League in 2020. Few, if any players, can catch players moving in behind like Davies. It allows his side to play five yards further forward without the ball, making pressure far easier for the whole side.
In addition, Davies has technical and offensive resources that Garcia is yet to display. With Vinicius Junior ideally on the left, Los Blancos would finally have someone that could overlap effectively with him.
A long string of Davies other talents could be written about here, but the reality is that there are few genuinie difference makers in football, and Davies is one of them. Signing him would be well worth the potential financial headache, knowing that two of the best in the world at their positions are both young, already at the top, and likely to keep improving. In theory, they would not have to address the position for some time, saving them money down the line too.