The unprecedented present and unknown future of David Alaba.
Football wages can often be the compelling narrative behind an elite players unsettlement within in their club, as for David Alaba there is quite a story to tell.
Kosta Diamantopoulos of La Trobe University
David Alaba has been an authoritative figure within an incredibly solid back-line at Bayern Munich since 2010. After winning an abundance of accolades and becoming beloved by not only the Bavarian's fanbase, but the supporters of world football; Alaba may finally exit the doors of Allianz Arena for the last time as a Bayern player.
Since joining from Austria Wien's youth academy, Alaba has partaken in 11 Bundesliga seasons and has won 9 league titles whilst playing in numerous positions. He now finds himself out of his favoured left-back role and playing predominantly as a centre-back, a position he has flirted with throughout his career.
The modern defensive shape commonly demands the utmost usage out of attacking fullbacks, like Bayern's ‘road-runner’ Alphonso Davies. This has forced David Alaba into a central role in the defence, where he can perhaps be seen performing the job of two-men as he covers for Davies in the back.
The 28-year-olds technical influence is unrivalled by any defender in the Bundesliga. The Austrian is perhaps less lauded for his physical attributes rather than his mental, but his pace that isn’t quite at Davies’ level is more than enough for the role of a centre-half.
‘Alaboom’ is a player with outstanding distribution, imposingly playing a vital role in Bayern’s possession-based build-up play. With a 90.8% pass completion rate in the Bundesliga 2019/20 season, Alaba boasts the best passing rate in the title-winning squad.
Teams like Paris St. Germain, Manchester United, and Juventus venture to utilise their defender’s technical ability to their best advantage; by involving them in their attacking set-up. This can be seen with the likes of Thiago Silva, Harry Maguire, Matthijs De Ligt, and Leonardo Bonucci, therefore there is no logical questioning as to why Alaba is so highly sought after by the biggest clubs around the world.
Reports have suggested that unsettlement has been prominent in the David Alaba saga for years. In 2018, when linked to Barcelona and Real Madrid Alaba stated, “I am aware that one day I will have to make that decision. I still feel great here, but I can also imagine going a different way, taking the next step or seeking a new challenge.”
The links to the Catalans and Los Blanco’s proved to be appealing, as it has recently become clear that these are the only two clubs on Alaba’s radar. Sadly, for the Bayern youth academy graduate, it seems they may be the only two of the biggest clubs in the world not willing to pay his wage demands.
Sky Sport in Germany claimed that La Liga giants FC Barcelona have requested Alaba to stay at Bayern until his contract runs out to significantly minimize the financial impact that the Austrian’s drastic wage demands will have.
Perhaps he is aware of the ability he possesses and perhaps that is why the versatile defender insists on a new contract worth reportedly over 20m-a-year.
Leroy Sane could potentially be adding to the rationale behind Alaba’s unsettling, as the German has himself locked into a €17m-a-year contract - €2m more than Alaba’s current. Could this be the driving force for the demand of a deal on-par and/or more than teammates Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer?
With a new era of Bayern players on the horizon, it is not improbable to imagine David Alaba wearing another team’s colours within the next two seasons.