'I don't understand that at all' - Celtic legend Van Hooijdonk questions Bassey's bench rolePublished: February 27, 2023
Glasgow Celtic legend Pierre van Hooijdonk believes Ajax Amsterdam manager John Heitinga made the wrong decision to name Calvin Bassey on the bench in Sunday's Eredivisie clash against Vitesse Arnhem.
The current Dutch champions won the match by a narrow margin, coming from behind to beat the home team 2-1 courtesy of goals from Davy Klaassen and Edson Álvarez.
With Ajax looking vulnerable in defence and in transition, Bassey was brought on at halftime as a replacement for Steven Berghuis.
The Super Eagles star has lost his place in the Ajax starting lineup since the dismissal of Alfred Schreuder, having failed to start any of the last five league games contested by the Amsterdam club.
Van Hooijdonk underlined that Bassey made a good impression after coming off the bench and wondered why he didn't start in the first place to curtail the threat of Vitesse striker Million Manhoef.
"You know the qualities of Vitesse. Million Manhoef is a plague for every team, because he is lightning fast. And yet you put Edson Álvarez there," Van Hooijdonk said on NOS Football, via Voetbal Primeur.
"Ajax has had this problem every time in recent weeks, and Bassey was always the one who had to and that worked.
"Now you are playing against a kind of Sheraldo Becker again, but a trainer's head pops up: you know what, I'm going to play with Álvarez in the center. I really don't understand that at all."
Bassey has started only two games under Heitinga, against Union Berlin home and away in the Europa League knockout round playoff.
Photo Credit : ajax.nl
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