A report by Sky Sport mentions that Bayern Munich defender David Alaba has confirmed he will leave the club at the end of the season. His next club remains unclear, but the Austrian defender is all set to depart the Bavarians.
The 28-year-old has had a long stay at Bundesliga during his career. He joined the club’s youth academy in 2008, and the rest is history. Here we take a look at his glittering career in Germany and how he has grown as a player during that time.
Alaba started off his career at Austria Wien II in his native country. He was scouted early on at the youth level and signed by Bayern’s academy in 2008. During this time, he was usually deployed as a left-midfielder. His versatility was clear from an early age though.
Alaba played in central midfield, left-midfield, and at left-back for Bayern Munich II. The next season, he was also deployed in a defensive midfield role by TSG Hoffenheim, where he was on loan. Versatility is one of Alaba’s biggest strengths and it is interesting to see it began at such an early age.
The 2011/12 season was the breakthrough campaign for him, and his versatility was on display again. He played in a variety of positions but found an identity on the field in the following campaign. The 2012/13 season saw Alaba play primarily at left-back, and he got 5 goals and 6 assists, helping his team to the Bundesliga title and the UEFA Champions League.
The rise and the prime
In the next few seasons, he played under Pep Guardiola. They won the Bundesliga in all of the Man City gaffer’s three seasons at the club, but success was tough to come on the European stage. Alaba was a pinned member of Guardiola’s line-up. He was in the UEFA team of the year from 2013 to 2015, and the Bundesliga team of the year in 2014 and 2015.
This was the beginning of his prime. The attacking left-back bombed down the wings at will and was also solid in defence, which has been a theme for him during his Bayern career until he was moved to centre-back. This is proven by the fact that he has 33 goals and 50 assists for the German club, primarily playing as a defender.
All this time, he was winning the Bundesliga. The club has, in fact, won the title every season since 2012/13.
The final years at Bayern
Alphonso Davies became one of the hottest topics in world football when he made his debut in the 2018/19 season. The next season, Mats Hummels departed.
This created the perfect opportunity for them to use Alaba’s ability and make him a ball-playing centre-back who could also bomb forward. This can be seen in his heat-map from this season.
The selfless Alaba played in central defence while Davies made his stride up the ladder on the left flank. This was probably his Bayern career completing a full circle. There was nothing for him to achieve. He has won everything there was to win and it is understandable he wants a new challenge.
He won 24 titles at Bayern and could still extend that by the end of this season. This includes 2 UEFA Champions League and 9 Bundesliga titles. His numbers are enough to showcase just how good he was in Germany. But the real magic of David Alaba lies in his ability to play anywhere in midfield and defence without looking uncomfortable. Anyone who follows the Bundesliga would admit to this fact.
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And with over 400 appearances for the club, not many would argue with Pep Guardiola when he called him the “a future all-time best in the club’s history”. You can imagine that the serial winner would carry the same winning mentality to wherever he goes next.
David Alaba is undoubtedly a club legend at Bayern Munich and he deserves all the praise in the world for what he has acheived there. It remains to be seen as to what the future holds for the Austrian star.