Rangers' Calvin Bassey (left) and Sparta Prague's Lukas Haraslin battle for the ball during the UEFA Europa League
Saturday Feb 12, 2022. 10:25
Former Premier League manager Alex McLeish believes Rangers star Calvin Bassey has the needed physique to play in the English top flight.
The Nigeria international is enjoying his breakthrough season at the Scottish giants this term having joined the club from Leicester City’s junior side in 2020.
Scottish tactician McLeish, who managed Aston Villa and Birmingham City in the Premier League, believes the left-back-cum-centre back would be a fit in England.
“In the Hearts game he had a dodgy passback to [Allan] McGregor, the Hearts player intercepted and he should have scored. Those moments go against you,” McLeish told FootballInsider247.
“But he is a young man. What he does have for the Premier League is power. We’ve seen it so many times before where you think: ‘He’ll never do it in the Premier League,’ and then it goes to the Premier League and he does it.”
The Premier League Manager of the Month for December 2009 went on to state that English clubs like tall and strong players like 22-year-old Bassey.
“People think: ‘Hang on a minute, we thought Scottish football was below that level. Then all of a sudden you see a guy going down there and plundering it,” he added.
“I think there’s still more to come from him. Getting a regular game for Rangers would help, as long as he eliminates the mistakes. He is good going forward but his first job is defending.
“You have to not give the opposition one sniff of a chance. “If he gets that right, he’s definitely got the power, the speed, and probably the mindset to play in England. English teams do like tall, strong players.”
Born in Italy, Bassey was eligible to play for Italy, Nigeria or England at international level.
In 2021, Bassey committed his international future to Nigeria when he accepted a call up for their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.