“Can’t judge him based on that” – Ex-Man United hero tips Super Eagles star to bounce back from nightmare debut

It was a debut to forget in Amsterdam for the Nigeria international, who will have plenty of chances to redeem himself

Former Manchester United midfielder Arnold Mühren says he has seen enough quality in Calvin Bassey to suggest the Nigerian defender will come good at Ajax Amsterdam.

Ajax signed Bassey in July from Glasgow Rangers for €23 million – a record transfer fee for a Nigerian defender.

The former Leicester City academy product was expected to replace Argentine centre-back Lisandro Martinez, who had switched to Manchester United.

Bassey made his debut for Ajax in the Johan Cruyff Shield tie, coming off the bench for Owen Wijndal in the second half against PSV Eindhoven.

But the Super Eagles defender was on the pitch for a few minutes before he was sent off for an awkward tackle on PSV’s Ismael Saibari. Ajax lost the encounter 5-3, surrendering the Johan Cruyff Shield to their bitter rivals.

Bassey will miss Ajax’s first two league games, but he was back on the pitch for Ajax two days after his nightmarish debut in the friendly against Almere City.

The 22-year-old impressed as a centre-back in the tie, and former Netherlands international Arnold Mühren admits the signs are good that Bassey would be a decent signing.

“I can’t judge him (Bassey) based on that 15 minutes until he got a red card,” Arnold Mühren told Het Parool, as per Ajax Show Time.

“I found it remarkable that he started to play left back when he came on the field, and that Blind remained in the center. I think Bassey has mostly played central at Rangers.

“A day later, in an exhibition game with Almere City, Bassey was in the heart of the defense. He arranges and points, which is a good sign.

“He shows that he dares to play football and that is what Ajax is asking. And there is a guy. He is physically strong, I suspect in the air too.”

Ajax will kick off the defence of their league title when they travel to face Fortuna Sittard this weekend. The Amsterdamers’ matchday two clash will be against Groningen.

Bassey will miss both games. The Super Eagles defender will, however, be available for Ajax’s subsequent meeting with Sparta Rotterdam.

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