The legendary Nigerian defender has backed his younger compatriot to overcome his initial struggles in the Eredivisie and become a top pick on the continent
Former Inter Milan and AC Milan centre-back Taribo West is convinced that Ajax defender Calvin Bassey has the quality to shrug off a slow start to life in the Netherlands and become one of the best in Europe.
It has been a tough opening few months for Bassey at Ajax after joining from Glasgow Rangers for over 20 million euros last summer.
The youngster arrived in Amsterdam on the back of being named in the Europa League Team of the Season after helping Rangers reach the finals of a continental competition for the first time in a decade.
But he has come under heavy criticism from many former footballers and pundits, who expected him to transform into a ball-playing centre-back instantly.
Former Real Madrid midfielder Wesley Sneijder has knocked Bassey severally, once calling on Ajax to send Calvin Bassey back to where he came from.
One-time Ajax winger Kenneth Perez called the Super Eagles defender a joke, saying it is a sorry sight watching him with a ball at his feet.
But Taribo West has thrown his support behind Bassey, insisting that the Leicester City academy product is on his way to being recognised as one of the best defenders in the business.
West, however, advised Bassey to shut his ears to his critics, open them to hear and follow his coach’s instructions and devote time and energy to improving his craft.
What has been said?
“He should play (attention) to the instruction of his coach,” West said, as per HITC.
“He should invest more dedication, discipline, and hard work. I believe he has the quality to be one of the best in Europe and his generation.
“I’ve seen him play a couple of times for Nigeria. I think he has great quality. With what I have seen in him, he needs a lot of dedication, discipline and hard work. The sky is his limit.”
Taribo West is not the only former iconic footballer who believes Bassey needs more time to develop his potential at Ajax.
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar is also convinced that Bassey will become an elite defender if afforded the time to work on his shortcoming.