The Nigeria football news scene is abuzz with excitement over the possibility of one of the Nigeria national football team players, Calvin Bassey, joining one of the most exciting European teams, Brighton and Hove Albion.
The AFC Ajax Amsterdam man endured a rough season in the Netherlands but his performances in 39 appearances in all competitions for De Godenzonen have put him on Roberto De Zerbi’s radar. From the centre-back position, the former Glasgow Rangers defender scored one goal and provided five assists for the Dutch giants.
Come 2023/24 season, he could be doing the same for the Seagulls.
Bassey is replacement target for Levi Colwill, sources report
Calvin Bassey, who started his professional career at Rangers after being trained at the Leicester City Academy, could finally be getting his Premier League debut next season thanks to Levi Colwill.
📅 On This Day: 6th June 2020.
Rangers announced the pre-contract signing of Calvin Bassey from Leicester City for a £300,000 development fee. pic.twitter.com/o9y26apTvO
— 𝗠𝗶𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗲𝗹 (@SeafarerMichael) June 6, 2023
The Chelsea Academy graduate is one of the most exciting young defenders in England. Colwill has proven himself with Chelsea in pre-season and on loan in the EFL Championship. His performances for Brighton in the just-concluded 2022/23 season was the icing on the cake and Chelsea have had to deal with a number of calls from clubs in the Premier League and all across Europe looking to sign the 20-year-old defender.
Brighton is one of those clubs but despite the Seagulls’ offering a club-record £30 million to Chelsea, the Blues are adamant about selling the England U-21 international.
Brighton were also reported to be exploring the option of raising their bid to £40 million for Colwill but Football Transfers reports that Chelsea are only looking to extend Colwill’s contract at Stanford Bridge because they see him as a prospect.
As a result, Brighton have turned to Bassey, who was on the verge of playing in the Premier League last season before moving to the Eredivisie instead.
23. Calvin Bassey made his debut in the Champions League after moving to Ajax from Rangers. His expression upon hearing the competition’s anthem as a player for the first time was pretty special. pic.twitter.com/IoGoqPtQaH
— HLTCO (@HLTCO) May 31, 2023
Bassey has a contract with Ajax that will expire in 2027, so it is unclear if the Dutch giants would like to put him on the market after just one season. However, Dutch website De Telegraaf (via Football Transfers) claims that an unnamed Premier League side, suspected to be Brighton, is willing to pay Ajax the £23 million fee they paid to Rangers for him in the summer of 2022.
Bassey one of the toughest defenders, says Eredivisie third-highest scorer
Calvin Bassey may have struggled to adapt to his new environment but he was able to make 25 league appearances for Ajax in the just-concluded season.
Those games were enough to make an impression on a number of attackers who came up against him, with SC Heerenveen striker Sydney van Hooijdonk proclaiming him to be the toughest defender he has ever faced.
The Heerenveen striker finished behind top scorer Xavi Simons and second top scorer Anastatios Douvikas by scoring 16 league goals. However, in the two matches he played against Bassey and Ajax, the Super Eagles defender was a thorn in his flesh.
“Bassey is often ridiculed in the Netherlands, but I think Bassey is really tough as a defender,” Van Hooijdonk told Dutch news website Voetbal International.
“I know that I am certainly not the only Eredivisie striker who thinks so. Bassey is fast, strong and he looks good.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 months ago