The Nigeria international would have hoped for a better start to life in the Netherlands, but he will get a second chance this weekend
Ajax Amsterdam head coach Alfred Schreuder has backed Super Eagles defender Calvin Bassey to put behind his nightmarish debut and excel at the club.
Bassey joined Ajax this summer from Glasgow Rangers for over €23 million in a deal that made him the most expensive Nigerian defender in history.
The Leicester City academy product was brilliant in the Europa League last season, helping Rangers to the final and making it into the Team of the Tournament.
The 22-year-old is widely expected to continue his development at Ajax, where many talented youngsters have been forged into incredible superstars.
But Bassey’s debut for the Ditch giants ended in a nightmare.
Brought on as a second-half substitute in the Johan Cruyff Shield, the versatile defender spent only a few minutes on the pitch before he was shown a straight red card for a poor tackle.
PSV went on to win the encounter and lift their first title of the new campaign.
Bassey has endured harsh criticisms following that incident while missing Ajax’s first two league games due to suspension.
What has Schreuder said?
The Nigeria international is, however, set to make his Eredivisie debut on Sunday when Ajax take on Sparta Rotterdam.
And Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder has seized the opportunity to knock the critics who have failed to recognise Bassey’s excellent qualities.
“Anyone who knows anything about football and who watched him at Rangers last season should know what his qualities are,” Alfred Schreuder said (via Daily Record).
“If people don’t know that, it’s not my problem. Calvin is just a really good player. He is very good at defending one-on-one and is also very quick.
“Yes, there are some things that could be improved but he is working on that and he was also working on that with Giovanni van Bronckhorst. Gio considers good football to be of paramount importance and it says a lot because that’s why he put him into the centre of his defence last season.
“He’s a guy with a huge drive who wants to achieve something and I think he will be an excellent purchase.”
Bassey won the league and cup titles in his two years with Rangers in Scotland.