Rangers hero Calvin Bassey given high valuation as Nigerian opens up on success and future

What a week it has been for Rangers defender Calvin Bassey.

The 22-year-old Nigerian won his second man-of-the-match award in the space of three days as he put in another colossal display for his team, driving them on to Scottish Cup glory.

Named the best player in Wednesday’s Europa League final, when Rangers lost on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt, Bassey continued to enhance his rapidly growing reputation with a stellar performance at Hampden.

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Moved from centre-half to left-back due to Borna Barisic’s injury, Bassey bombed up and down his flank all afternoon in support of Ryan Kent. He was unlucky not to score with a low right-footed effort and put in no end of dangerous crosses into the Hearts penalty box. He was also solid as rock in defence.

Calvin Bassey won man of the match yet again for his performance.Calvin Bassey won man of the match yet again for his performance.
Calvin Bassey won man of the match yet again for his performance.

Such have been his levels recently, a clutch of English Premier League clubs have been linked with him, Aston Villa being the latest. However, Bassey – signed from Leicester City in 2020 with another two years on his contract – spoke of his desire to return to the club next year and try to achieve more at Rangers.

“It feels unbelievable,” said Bassey. “I think the boys have been excellent this season, we’ve worked so hard.

“We had huge disappointment on Wednesday but to come back from that, 120 minutes there and another extra-time, it shows real character, drive and just how much each and every one of us loves this club.

“We just want to give our best and we are happy to end it with a reward.

“I thank my team-mates. It’s not a one-man team, each and every one of them helps me get better every day to get me where I am.

“And the manager and the coaching staff to trust me and push me. I can’t thank my teammates enough.

“I just want to keep my head down and keep pushing hard.

“I’m focused here. I’m here and I’m ready to get ready to come here for pre-season and be fitter than I was last pre-season and ready to see what next season holds for me and the boys.”

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Former Rangers player and now pundit Neil McCann led the chorus of media praise for Bassey and was quick to point out what a good job the Rangers recruitment team has done in identifying and then procuring Bassey, going on to value him at £20million.

"He's a £20m player. Our game has been enhanced by how Rangers have performed in European football,” McCann told the BBC.

"The pieces of business that [former manager] Steven Gerrard and [sporting director] Ross Wilson have done – [Glen] Kamara, [Joe] Aribo, Bassey, nominal fees. [James] Tavernier as well, the impact is huge.

"What they've done in European football has shone a light on our game and if you want to come and buy one of our players, you have to spend as well. You can't disrespect it.

"Hopefully our game has been taken to a level where you want to recruit our players, you have to spend.

"Bassey has shone up brilliantly today and all season really."