By Calum Brown

25th Apr, 2022 | 8:10pm

Rangers youngster Calvin Bassey rounds off breakthrough season with personal award

Rangers defender Calvin Bassey was named Young Player of the Year at last night’s end of season awards after an impressive campaign.

The 22-year-old has been one of Rangers’ key men this term as he has made the left back position his own as well as filling in at centre back on occasion too.

Bassey has become first choice ahead of Borna Barisic, and has emerged as a real fan’s favourite at Ibrox.

Speaking to Rangers TV on the personal achievement, Bassey said: “It’s an amazing feeling, especially on the club’s 150th anniversary, it’s just amazing to win this award and have the hard work I’ve put in over the last year recognised.

“All credit is due to my team, the fans and the manager for trusting me and just believing in me, my teammates are pushing me every day as well so it’s not just for me but for everyone working hard with me.

“This is the part of the season where the rewards are given. We’re still in the league, we’ve still got the Scottish Cup Final and we’ve got the Europa League so there’s a lot to play for and we are just focused on taking each day as it comes to get better and be prepared for the challenges ahead.”

Vast improvement

Bassey has made 44 appearances for Rangers in all competitions this season compared to just 15 last term having ousted Croatian international Barisic.

The defender’s rise has been recognised this season by his country too, after winning two caps for Nigeria in March’s World Cup Play-Offs.

Whilst Bassey has only five assists to his name in comparison to his fellow full-back James Tavernier, the Nigerian has been praised for his defensive ability and versatility whilst operating as a left-back, and as a centre half in both four and five at the back systems.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst clearly trusts the defender, who is currently one of the first names on the Dutchman’s team sheet.

With Thursday night’s Europa League Semi-Final first leg against RB Leipzig on the horizon, Bassey will be key to any chance Rangers have of taking a result back to Ibrox next week, although the likes of Andre Silva and Christopher Nkunku will pose one of the youngster’s biggest challenges to date.

In other Rangers news, the Bears are monitoring RB Leipzig defensive starlet Eric Martel ahead of a potential summer transfer.