The Europa League finalists take on the Eredivisie champions on matchday one of the continent’s premier club competition
Former Manchester United defender Daley Blind has talked up the excellent qualities of youngster Calvin Bassey on the eve of Ajax’s UEFA Champions League meeting with Glasgow Rangers.
Ajax will host Rangers at the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam on Wednesday on matchday one of the Champions League group stage.
Super Eagles defender Bassey will likely make his debut in the competition against Rangers, having only joined Ajax from the Glasgow giants this summer.
The 22-year-old has adapted well to life in the Netherlands, helping Ajax keep clean sheets in their last three games.
Bassey even grabbed an assist in the 4-0 trashing of Cambuur at the weekend.
What has Daley Blind said?
And Ajax vice-captain Daley Blind has confessed he has been left impressed with the ability and brilliance of the Nigerian defender.
And Blind insists a part of the credit should be given to Rangers who helped Bassey in his stratospheric development within two years.
“Already we can see that he (Calvin Bassey) is a big talent,” Blind told the Daily Record.
“We can see he is strong and enjoys the physical side of the game – but he is also comfortable on the ball and playing out from the back – and that is the style of football threat we try to play at Ajax.
“Rangers must take credit for the player he is and his development. He is a young player still and as a young player it is so important where you can be at a club where you will play and where they obviously want to develop you – and Rangers was that club for him. Now he is at Ajax we hope his development can go up a level and he can become one of the best defenders in Europe.”
Ajax vs. Rangers: Who wins?
A £19 million buy from Rangers, Bassey will aim to power Rangers to a home win against his former teammates on Wednesday.
Blind admits Bassey has been queried about Gio van Bronckhorst’s men ahead of the crucial tie.
And the 32-year-old is hopeful the four-time Champions League winners can get the better of a Rangers side returning to the competition for the first time in 12 years.
“Of course, we have spoken with him (Bassey) about the game against Rangers to help us prepare. He has only positive things to say about them – but all that will matter will be trying to win the game.
“With also Liverpool and Napoli in the group for me it is one of the toughest groups – that is why it is so important we try and get off to a good start against Rangers.”
Bassey was named in the Europa League Team of the Season last term after inspiring Rangers to a runners-up finish.