Bassey ‘is making enormous progress’ – Schreuder defends Nigerian after criticism at Ajax

Ajax Amsterdam coach Alfred Schreuder has backed Calvin Bassey to come good at the club following the recent criticism over his performances.

  • Bassey has received his coach’s backing
  • Nigeria defender cited for high-profile errors
  • Schreuder feels the 22-year-old needs time

WHAT HAPPENED? Bassey has been the subject of criticism from a number of former Ajax players since signing for the Dutch giants from Rangers in the summer transfer window.

The Nigeria international has been trusted by Schreuder, who has made him one of the key men, despite some mistakes and the tactician believes the 22-year-old has all the qualities needed to succeed at the club if given time.

WHAT DID SCHREUDER SAY? “I am developing a team and we want to go in a certain direction. I now choose Calvin Bassey and Jurrien Timber in the centre [central defence],” said Schreuder as quoted by Voetbal.

“I don’t think it [buying Bassey] has to do with quality alone. Calvin is certainly making enormous progress, although he certainly has to defend this ball better with Luuk [de Jong]. He has to gain that experience in matches.”

“That time is not so great at Ajax, I know, but we have to do this. This is something that we have to go through. The players learn from this and that’s why it’s nice that we play again on Wednesday.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Bassey was easily shrugged off by PSV Eindhoven striker Luuk de Jong before the Dutch striker poked home his side’s opening goal in their 2-1 victory over Ajax in the Eredivisie on Sunday, leading to further criticism over his performances.

The Nigeria international was also cited in his side’s losses to Liverpool and Napoli in the Champions League with ex-Ajax midfielder Marciano Vink claiming Bassey ‘cannot play in defence’ for the club.

Bassey, has, however, produced a number of top performances in the league and in Ajax’s wins over his former club Rangers in the Champions League.

WHAT’S NEXT? Ajax face Vitesse Arnhem in their next league match on Wednesday with Bassey keen for a strong performance that will silence his doubters.

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