Giovanni van Bronckhorst Reveals Challenges Faced by Calvin Bassey During Ajax Stint
Former Rangers manager, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, has spoken out about Calvin Bassey’s time at Ajax, suggesting that the move didn’t pan out due to inadequate support from the Dutch club.
Calvin Bassey, a versatile Super Eagles defender, has recently joined Fulham after just a year with Ajax.
Bassey marked his Fulham debut with a crucial goal, securing a 2-1 victory against TSG Hoffenheim in a friendly match.
The journey of Bassey, who initially emerged from Leicester’s youth system, took him to Rangers on a free transfer in the summer of 2020, following a lack of appearances with Leicester.
Though his first season at Rangers was limited to 8 league appearances, he contributed to the team’s League title win under manager Steven Gerrard.
His second season with Rangers proved more fruitful, as he played 50 matches across all competitions, notably excelling in the Europa League and helping his team reach the final.
These performances earned Bassey a £20 million transfer to Ajax. However, his best form eluded him at the Dutch club, and he subsequently moved to Fulham this summer, nearly for the same amount that Ajax paid to Rangers.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who arrived at Rangers during Bassey’s second season, revealed that he supported the 23-year-old during his early struggles at the club, helping him become a pivotal player. Van Bronckhorst expected a similar trajectory for Bassey at Ajax, but circumstances didn’t align.
“When I came to Rangers, he was not a starter. I gave him the chance, and he became a supporting force,” van Bronckhorst said in an interview with Viaplay. He added, “He is a strong boy, is fast and eager to learn. He went through a stormy development and had a lot of interest, but he chose Ajax.”
Van Bronckhorst acknowledged the high expectations and challenges Bassey faced at Ajax, impacting his performance. He mentioned that Bassey struggled with playing to his strengths due to the situation at Ajax. However, at Fulham, he believes Bassey can capitalize on his strengths more effectively.
Bassey has yet to make his competitive debut for Fulham, having been an unused substitute in their Premier League opener against Everton, which ended in a 1-0 victory.