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Nigeria defender Bassey worthy Champions League replacement for Ajax - Hamstra

10:31 GMT+3 27/07/2022
Calvin Bassey - Ajax
The official of the Dutch outfit defends their decision to go for the services of the Super Eagles defender ahead of the new season

Ajax Technical Director Gerry Hamstra has discussed the acquisition of defender Calvin Bassey from Rangers insisting they got a worthy replacement for their future ambitions.

The 22-year-old Nigeria international moved to the Dutch side in a record transfer fee to end his stay at Ibrox after signing a five-year contract.

Hamstra has defended their decision to pay a huge sum for Bassey's services insisting the players' potential deserved what they parted with.

“We looked at potential and got a player for more than we would normally pay – because he had to be a Champions League-worthy replacement," Hamstra said as quoted by Squawka.

“The one-on-one replacements simply cost a little more than the guys for the future. Ultimately, you have ambitions. You want to become champion and take the next step in Europe.”

Hamstra further likened Bassey's rise to the top to that of Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk, who currently turns out for Premier League side Liverpool and Dutch legend Jaap Stam, who played for a host of clubs in Europe including PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Lazio, Milan and Ajax before retiring in October 2007.

“Calvin got into professional football late at Leicester City," Hamstra continued. “From there, like Jaap Stam and Virgil van Dijk did a bit in the past – he fought his way up.

"Calvin is an open personality and he has taken off at Rangers. We are getting one of the stars of the Europa League final.

“At first he played at left-back but then Giovanni van Bronckhorst put him in the centre. He is a boy who has made great strides in a short time. We are in a situation at the club where a lot of players have gone."

Bassey's eagerly awaited debut for Ajax did not take off on Tuesday after he missed out in the team's 3-1 friendly win against Shaktar Donetsk at Amsterdam Arena.