Sports

S’Eagles’ AFCON snub, pointer to Bassey’s upswing

By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor

Rangers defender Calvin Bassey said his surprised omission from the Super Eagles squad for the January Total Energies African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon was instrumental to his upsurge in development.

The 22-year-old Scottish defender, who was very influential in Gers’ defence this season and sprouted intermittently in both centre-back and left-back, has been a point of attraction for top European clubs looking to swoop in on the promising world star. The Trumpet Gathered

Reportedly, Bassey surprised improvement happened during the winter transfer period and since then, the player has helped Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side to the Europa League final where they lost 5-4 penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville.

Speaking with Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the Super Eagle expressed his disappointment over his omission from the national squad and stressed that the act motivated him to work harder to improve on his game.

He stated that his improvement within the period earned him a call to the national team.

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“Obviously it was very disappointing,” said Bassey.

“I knew I just needed to work harder and just try out my game and hopefully I’m guessing that’s why I’m here.

“Hopefully I’ve done that and caught the coaches’ eyes,” he grinned.

The Nigeria international, who started his football career at CM Futsal Academy, joined Rangers from Leicester City two seasons ago and has earned 6 caps for the Nigeria Super Eagles where he made his debut in 2022.

The Gers’ defender has featured in two positions at Ibrox, centre and left-wing backs but reiterates he plays anywhere he is assigned to and ensures he does his best at that.

He said, “I always get asked this but me, I just like to play football.

“So wherever the manager puts me, striker, I am going to go there and give everything I have got,” Bassey added.

The defender is under the radar of English Premier League club, Aston Villa, with former Rangers boss Steven Gerrard hovering around Ibrox to flick him away.

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