Monday, June 27, 2022

Rangers Might Struggle To Keep Hold Of This Star Amid Premier League Interest: Blow For The Gers?

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Pratyay Maitra
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In a recent report, The Telegraph claimed that Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard might reunite with Calvin Bassey in the upcoming summer window. While the Villans were also keeping close tabs on Aaron Hickey, Arsenal are now closing in on the Bologna star as per the latest rumour. Rangers, therefore, must be sweating over the Nigerian’s future who has been a revelation so far this term.

The 22-year-old left-back completed a free transfer from Leicester City a couple of summers ago. Gerrard, then Gers’ boss, was pivotal in making him travel north of the border and the youngster, despite being roped in as the understudy to Borna Barisic, is now irreplaceable in the defensive third.

Preferably an attacking fullback with pace and physicality, Bassey has also been majestic as a makeshift centre-half amid injuries to Leon Balogun and Filip Helander. He is now the preferred partner of Connor Goldson in the heart of the backline ahead of locking horns with Eintracht Frankfurt and Hearts in the upcoming Europa League and Scottish Cup finals.

Rangers defender Calvin Bassey
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MAY 05: Calvi Bassey of Rangers is seen during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final Leg Two match between Rangers and RB Leipzig at Ibrox Stadium on May 05, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

Bassey joined the Foxes’ academy ranks after a successful trial and spent several years across various youth levels before signing a pre-contract with Rangers. Although his minutes were limited last season, the promises exhibited during his first senior stint earned him a first-team status across competitions. The emergence at Ibrox also earned him his senior international debut earlier this year.

Why Aston Villa Are After The Rangers Star

Gerrard, meanwhile, has had some ups and downs since taking charge of the Birmingham-based outfit. He made some smart winter signings but, at the same time, has highlighted the necessity of reinforcements before the new season kicks off. Lucas Digne replaced Matt Targett down the left, however, the 28-year-old Frenchman needs a long-term successor who would serve the club for years to come.

Villa have got Ashley Young who has deputized Digne during his injury absence. Gerrard wants him to extend his stay beyond this campaign, but the 36-year-old Englishman should not be viewed as a solution in terms of squad depth.

Moreover, the Villans have a significant crisis in deep defence with Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa failing to meet the expectations week in week out. Bassey, who has already appeared 48 times this season, would be a smart coup given his efficiency as a centre-back. It remains to be seen how the Light Blues deal with the situation if an offer is tabled for their prized asset.

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