By Saikat Mandal

11th May, 2022 | 4:30pm

Brian Laudrup gushes over Rangers defender Calvin Bassey

Brian Laudrup has showered heaps of praise on Rangers defender Calvin Bassey saying the sky is the limit for the youngster.

The 22-year-old has taken his game to a whole new level under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, and Laudrup says that his progress has been “astonishing”.

Connor Goldson recently said that Bassey could be as good as Arsenal defender Gabriel, and the former Gers hero agrees with the remark [The National].

Writing for the Scottish Daily Mail (printed edition, 11 May, page 74) Laudrup has suggested that the Gers could struggle to hold on to him for long if he continues to progress at this rate.

“The development in the young defender has been astonishing this season. Actually, not this whole season. Just over the six months since Van Bronckhorst picked him to solve a centre-back shortage for his first game in charge against Sparta Prague last November,” wrote Laudrup.

“That show of faith has been rewarded a hundred times over. Bassey is one of several big reasons why tens of thousands of Rangers fans are getting ready to head to Seville next week.

“He hasn’t just grabbed his chance to become a first-team regular. The 22-year-old has squeezed every bit of potential out of it to show himself as one of the best young defenders in the Europa League. Without question, he is the most improved player at Ibrox.

“I saw Connor Goldson recently make a comparison with Gabriel at Arsenal, who cost them £27million a couple of years ago. He said Bassey could reach that kind of level if he kept improving. I definitely agree.

“The sky’s the limit for him. It really is. I’m pretty sure teams in bigger leagues will be looking at him. They might be thinking he’s ready now but that he could be even better by the time he is 24.

“It’s going to be difficult for Rangers to keep Bassey in the longer term. That’s just modern football business.

“But if they can retain him this summer, and he keeps improving the way he has, then can you imagine where he might be in his development in another year’s time? It’s an exciting prospect.”

Spot on

Laudrup is absolutely spot on.

Bassey is arguably the most improved player at Ibrox this season, and Van Bronckhorst trusts him heavily.

This season he has played in full-back roles as well, and he emerged with flying colours.

There’s something x-factor that makes him a special talent. It is his mentality and his willingness to outperform himself in every game.

Rangers are likely to lose Connor Goldson next season following the expiry of his contract.

Will they lose Bassey as well? It’s highly unlikely.

The Nigeria defender has a contract at the club until 2024, and the Gers won’t be in a hurry to sell him.

There could be interest from clubs in Europe but Van Bronckhorst must convince him that staying at Ibrox for at least two to three years will be beneficial for his career, as it will help him to secure a big-money move to a big club if he keeps on performing well.

Rangers will face Eintracht Frankfurt in the final on May 18 in Sevilla, where both Goldson and Bassey are expected to start.

In other Rangers news, UEFA are currently holding security meetings with stakeholders to solve ticket issues ahead of the Europa League final.