By George Overhill

21st Apr, 2022 | 2:40pm

Calvin Bassey's summer commitment is bearing fruit for Rangers at a crucial time

Rangers defender Calvin Bassey’s impressive form in recent weeks is a result of the summer preparation he put him before the season, The Athletic reports.

The 22-year-old has become virtually ever present in Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s starting XI, and stood out in the defeat of Celtic in the Scottish cup semi-final.

He provided the cross that resulted in the winning goal after sprinting down the left on the overlap in the second period of extra-time, three days after playing 120 minutes against Braga in the Europa League.

Jordan Campbell writes in The Athletic that “the work he put in last summer has been key” to what he has shown of late.

He says: “The 22-year-old embarked on a “pre-pre-season” while he was back home in London by hiring a sprint coach, which perhaps explains why his impeccable running form as he tore down the Hampden turf was akin to the technique you expect to see from those wearing spikes in a 100-metre race.

“The former Leicester City academy graduate, who moved to Ibrox in 2020, did running sessions on sand to build his fitness.

“It is understood the six-game ban he received after being one of five players found to have breached lockdown rules by attending a party last February gave him extra motivation to redeem himself.

“After playing understudy to Borna Barisic, the aim this season was to move up from being a squad player to a regular. Steven Gerrard and his coaching staff had tasked him with becoming even leaner so he chose not to bulk up too much, maintaining his acceleration and long-distance running power.”

Bearing fruit

Bassey has been impressing recently and his endurance with the crunch games coming thick and fast is a key attribute.

Featuring either at left-back or in the centre he has become virtually undroppable for the Light Blues.

And although he is not immune to an error, he has made key contributions offensively in a number of big games lately.

It was his wonderful long through ball that Kemar Roofe ran onto against Braga that resulted in a penalty and red card, which established dominance in the tie for the first time.

And his ball inside the full-back in the Old Firm derby at Ibrox lead to Ryan Kent assisting Aaron Ramsey’s early opener.

It shows a level of professionalism that belies his relatively young age that he put in so much work ahead of the season in his own time.

And with the club in touching distance of two trophies it looks to be bearing fruit at a crucial time.

In other Rangers news, a leaked video clip has shown one Bears player apparently modelling next season’s black kit.