'He has a lot of speed, has physical strength' - Ajax coach convinced of Bassey's qualitiesPublished: March 03, 2023
Manager John Heitinga has admitted that he's convinced of the qualities of Calvin Bassey and reckons that the central defender will add value to the Ajax Amsterdam squad.
Last summer, Bassey joined Ajax from Glasgow Rangers for a fee that could rise to 26.5 million euros with performance-related add-ons, and he's now under enormous pressure to justify the huge fee the Dutch giants paid for him.
The Nigeria international has lost his place in Ajax's starting lineup since the appointment of Heitinga, having failed to start any of the last five matches in the Eredivisie,
Against Union Berlin in the Europa League and De Graafschap in Thursday's KNVB Cup, Bassey was handed starting berths.
Speaking just before kickoff against De Graafschap, Heitinga told ESPN, via Ajaxshowtime : In the beginning I chose to protect him a bit.
"Then everyone was talking about his footballing qualities, now he is constantly praised for his defensive qualities."
Heitinga once again expressed his full confidence in Bassey and highlighted that the focus should be on what he brings to the defence.
"He is still a very young boy, with a lot of stretch. He has a lot of potential, but his primary job is to take out his man first.
"He has a lot of speed, he has physical strength and he can defend in width. In the past period you have seen that we still needed him and he did that very well," he concluded.
Bassey helped goalkeeper Remko Pasveer to keep a clean sheet as Ajax thrashed De Graafschap 3-0 to reach the Dutch Cup semifinal.
Photo Credit : ajax.nl
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