‘We wanted to sign him, but once again we couldn’t get a work permit in England!’: Steve Parish reveals a tip-off from his sister almost saw Crystal Palace sensationally sign Alphonso Davies… before Bayern Munich swooped for star full-back
- Bayern star Alphonso Davies almost joined Crystal Palace a few years ago
- Palace chairman Steve Parish revealed he travelled to Canada to watch Davies
- However, he could not get a work permit for the 16-year-old wizkid at the time
Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies was almost a Crystal Palace player but he couldn’t get a work permit, Steve Parish explained.
The 19-year-old left MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps in January 2019 and joined the German giants in a move that has since made him one of the world’s most exciting talents.
Davies played a key role as Bayern went on to claim Bundesliga and Champions League glory, but it could have been so different a few years earlier for the Canadian.
Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies almost joined Crystal Palace but couldn’t get a permit
Steve Parish said he travelled to Canada and wanted to sign Davies as a 16-year-old
Palace chairman Steve Parish explained that the Eagles tried to sign the left-sided player before Bayern were interested, but missed out due to an issue work a work permit.
‘When he was 15, 16 in a football school in Edmonton, where my sister lives, she recommended him to me,’ he told German outlet Suddeutsche Zeitung.
‘We flew to Canada especially to see the player. We wanted to sign him, but once again we couldn’t get a work permit in England!
‘True story! I still have all the mails. I’m sure he would have been interested in coming to us – and we were very early!
‘So I was a little torn when I watched Bayern. But I’m happy for Alphonso. And to see Bayern win is good, because it is a rich but self-sustaining club. I see a team that is bigger than the sum of its parts.’
Davies has since helped Bayern to a Bundesliga and Champions League triumph
Palace finished 14th in the Premier League this season and kept a relatively comfortable distance of nine points to the relegation zone.
However, Parish believes they can still make big improvements become on the league’s best teams.
‘If we didn’t [seriously believe it], we’d have to pack up and go. We can’t give up!’ he added.
‘Leicester won the league four years ago, so something like this is still possible: through investment, performance, ingenuity and skill.
‘We’re just seeing that Leicester and Wolves have managed to get into the top six of the league.
‘You can always list your own disadvantages. But there are also downsides with the big clubs. They have to spend a lot of money on players. Previously, the fee depended on the quality of the player and the selling club. Now it is measured by which club a player is moving to.
‘When you are in the shoes of the top teams, not all that glitters is gold.’
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