Former Rangers defender Gary Bollan has backed Calvin Bassey to step up if current left-back Borna Barisic leaves the club.
The former Leicester City defender impressed during Rangers’ 4-0 win over Falkirk on Sunday, scoring his first goal for the club.
The 20-year-old has played six times for the Gers in the Scottish Premiership this season at left-back but started at centre-back against Falkirk.
Asked about his impression of Bassey, Bollan said that he has already shown that “he can play”.
“Bassey can be a ready-made replacement for Barisic because from what we’ve seen so far, he looks like he can perform to a level that would satisfy Steven Gerrard,” he said (via Daily Record).
“He has certainly shown he can play. He’s a big, powerful boy. He’s quick and athletic and has shown that getting up and down the pitch is no problem for him. It’s a big ask for anybody to come in and replace Barisic, because he’s the best left-back in the country and he’s the first pick for one of the strongest nations in the world, Croatia.
“If you’ve got the delivery he has, and the athleticism to get up and down the left flank like he does, then there’s no doubt that clubs in England will be looking at him. In England, a lot of clubs now play with their full-backs high up the pitch and if he went down there, he would be a success. I don’t doubt that for a minute. There’s no club in Scotland if they are offered £20m for players these days – and in today’s market that’s what you’d be looking at for a player like Barisic – that can refuse it.”
Acquiring Bassey on a free transfer already looks like an extremely savvy move by Ross Wilson and Steven Gerrard.
The Italian-born defender has impressed on both ends of the field, while the versatility to play left-back and centre-back is a real bonus.
First-choice left-back Barisic has also been outstanding this season with two goals and nine assists (via Transfermarkt) and the club will be keen to keep him.
However, as Brian Laudrup noted recently, with Rangers playing in the Europa League and sitting at the top of the league, there are going to more teams interested in their players than in the past. He said (via Daily Record): “It’s inevitable there will be a lot of interested admirers at the end of the season.”
This does not have to be a negative thing though and the funds the club can raise will go a long way to helping them reinvest and securing their future. Finding players like Bassey on a free will only make this process easier and if he can become the first choice left-back in a situation when Barisic is sold, that money can be spent elsewhere.
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