Bassey is a flop at Ajax, claims Dutch football pundit

AMSTERDAM - (l-r) Brian Brobbey of Ajax, Calvin Bassey of Ajax during the Dutch premier league match between Ajax Amsterdam and Feyenoord at the Johan Cruijff ArenA on March 19, 2023 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. ANP MAURICE VAN STONE (Photo by ANP via Getty Images)

Dutch football pundit Johan Inan has stated that Ajax Amsterdam made a wrong move with the transfer of Calvin Bassey from Scottish club Glasgow Rangers in the summer of 2022.

Bassey was one of the best players at Ibrox last season, effectively covering both the right-back and centre back roles when called upon.

His performances garnered a lot of interest from Premier League sides but the 23-year-old Italy-born defender chose to move to the Johan Cruijff Arena for the further development of his talents.

The move has looked like a bust on occasion but Bassey has also shown his ability as a defender. However, Ajax is in a bad spot at the moment and the defence, which he is a key part of – he slotted into the team from the start – has borne most of the blame.

Inan, however, singled him out from their shaky defence and listed him alongside a few others as transfer errors which Ajax made in the summer. He was speaking on a local football podcast by Algemeen Dagblad on what he thinks Ajax's summer additions Bassey, Steven Bergwin and Brian Brobbey brought to the side when he stated his opinions on Bassey.

“Sometimes, but I didn't see this coming when they got those players,” the pundit said. “They go from Blind, Martínez and Mazraoui to Hato, Bassey and Sánchez. That is typical of the mismanagement at Ajax.

“No purchase pays off. At most only keeper [Geronimo] Rulli, but he was also very unhappy in Eindhoven. It's a consequence of not having a director of football affairs and ignoring your scouting. Then, after a very painful year, Ajax comes to the conclusion that it was all unnecessary.”

Ajax are defending champions but are on the verge of being stripped off their Eredivisie crown by Feyenoord come May. The club has been dealing with a lot of backroom issues as well, which led to the sack of Alfred Schreuder in the middle of the season.

They are currently suffering their worst run in 20 years and this is due to their inability to adjust following Erik ten Hag's departure to Manchester United in the summer. Current manager John Heitinga has also struggled since replacing Schreuder, but fans of the club can look to the beginning of ten Hag's tenure for hope of better days to come.

“Calvin is a top professional. He comes from Glasgow and knows a different way of playing,” Heitinga told ESPN. “In Holland, a lot is demanded of the ball and you play with a lot of space behind you.

Heitinga also backed Bassey when his struggles started to become apparent. The manager said that the €23 million signing is still an important player for the team and that his current lack of minutes is not an indication of his quality or their preparedness to let him go after just one season.

Awoniyi helped out in defence in a number of set pieces and in attack, saw a brilliant overhead kick just go above the crossbar. He also forced a brilliant tackle from Ibrahima Konate in the first half. When he was taken off, he got some applause from Forest fans for his showing.

He is currently one of their most prized asset and he could command a sizeable sum for a club of Forest's stature. However, time looks to be up for the 25-year-old to become a big man in the Premier League.

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago

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