It would sound bizarre last season if any headline read Bassey v Glasgow Rangers! But it’s happening now.
Calvin Bassey is the name on the lips of every Glasgow Rangers fan as their team line out against Ajax on Wednesday night in a UEFA Champions League match at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam.
The Nigerian, who moved to the Dutch side in the summer, has been an instant hit and Rangers fans would hope he isn’t at his best when he plays against the club that gave him the leverage to become a star.
The Bassey factor is a huge headache for Gers going into the match and his performance against Cambuur last weekend shows enormous improvement in his game since he moved from Ibrox.
Chris Sutton believes Bassey could play a key role in the match.
“I fear for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s team defensively. Calvin Bassey was influential in the Rangers back line last season but he’s now an Ajax player, this could be very crucial.”
This is why Bassey is so important to Ajax, because his speed and strength is important for covering the gaps that ultimately appear in Schreuder’s tactics, and that is why Schreuder plays Bassey as a central defender. If Bassey was deployed to the fullback berth, it would be very difficult to cover the entire park.
But despite Bassey being so important to their defensive line in the Dutch league Ajax often permit Bassey to come forward, leaving the back door invitingly open. Reckless football?
So, hopefully Rangers will see Bassey in a very advanced position in tonight’s game and will hope to capitalise but the Nigerian is also fast at recovering lost ground.
Bassey is well known to Rangers players and plans must have been perfected to cage the rampaging bull. But for how long? The whole 90 minutes? We shall see.