“He’s a beast” – Dutchman tips Nigeria’s most expensive defender in history to progress to the Premier League

All eyes will be on the Nigeria international as he continues his development in the Netherlands following his historic move from Scotland in July.

Dutch defender Justen Kranthove has backed Ajax Amsterdam’s new signing Calvin Bassey to excel in the Netherlands and move to the English Premier League in the not-too-distant future.

Born in Aosta, Italy, Bassey moved to England with his family and enrolled at Leicester City academy as a teenager in 2015.

Born in Amsterdam, Kranthove joined Bassey at the academy three years later, and the two developed a friendship until their departure in 2020.

While Kranthove eventually landed at Czech club Slovan Liberec, Bassey joined Glasgow Rangers, winning the Scottish Premiership in his first season.

But the versatile full-back’s breakthrough at Rangers only comes in the second half of the 2021-22 campaign, following the appointment of Dutch manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Under the former Arsenal star, Bassey made his Super Eagles debut, won the Scottish Cup and made the Europa League Team of the Season.

The 22-year-old’s quality convinced Ajax to pay Rangers £19m for his services earlier this month – a transfer fee that makes him the most expensive Nigerian defender in history.

What did Kranthove say about Bassey?

Liberec’s Slovak ace Justen Kranthove is convinced that Ajax have secured a great human being and an excellent footballer rolled into one.

“Bassey is always a laugh. A very good boy. He is a prankster but very serious as soon as he is on the field. You see that in games,” the 21-year-old said, according to Voetbal Primeur.

“There is only quality on the pitch. He’s fast, strong, agile and has the big picture, but he can also play football well, and that is sometimes overlooked.

“Just ask people who know him well. It quickly becomes apparent that he is “a beast”, but the football part was tired soon enough with him.

Kranthove isn’t surprised Bassey excelled in Scotland ahead of his big-money move to the Eredivisie as it was always part of the Nigerian defender’s plan.

And the Dutchman believes a similar scenario will play out in the Netherlands for Bassey, and the Super Eagles boy will soon make the move to the English Premier League.

“He started at left-back and I was often next to him in defense (in the Leicester youth team),” added Kranthove.

“I understood he was going to Rangers. Because men’s football is played in Scotland, he could develop even better. I think it’s good to see the move to Rangers has worked out well for him. and possibly see him play in the Premier League or something.

“He developed very well, but I always knew he would make it. No matter where it was. Until now, he was one of the best defenders in the world. He was in the best team in the Europa League for a reason.

Bassey, however, would have hoped for a better start in the Netherlands than the nightmare he endured on Saturday.

On his Ajax debut, Glasgow Rangers’ record sale was canceled as the Eredivisie champions lost the Johan Cruyff Shield to rivals PSV.

Nonetheless, Ajax manager Alfred Schreuder backed the Nigerian to learn from the experience and come back stronger for the Sons of the Gods.

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