How Good is Calvin Bassey? – What Can Brighton Fans Expect?

Noah Reed
By Noah Reed
7 Min Read

Brighton & Hove Albion’s pursuit of versatile defender Calvin Bassey has intensified as they seek to bolster their defensive options ahead of their first venture into the Europa League next season.

The Nigerian international, who moved to Ajax from Rangers just last summer, could be a potential alternative to Levi Colwill, and Brighton fans are eager to understand what the 23-year-old brings to the table.

In this analysis, we delve into Bassey’s strengths, weaknesses, career so far, and how he might fit into manager Roberto De Zerbi’s system at Brighton.

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Calvin Bassey’s career began to gain traction during his time at Rangers, where he showcased his versatility and potential. As a left-sided central defender or left-back, Bassey displayed his ability to excel in multiple positions.

His performances caught the eye of Brighton, who have been admirers since his days at the Scottish club.

Last summer, Bassey made a high-profile move to Ajax for £18.7 million, illustrating his potential on the European stage. However, despite the promising transfer, he struggled to establish himself in the Netherlands, leading to the possibility of a transfer this summer.

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Bassey possesses a range of strengths that make him an intriguing prospect for Brighton. His physical attributes stand out, including his strength and agility, make him a formidable presence in defensive duels and aerial battles. Bassey’s ability to outmuscle opponents and win physical battles gives him an edge in defensive situations. Furthermore, his positional awareness is a strong point that allows him to effectively read the game and anticipate danger, often making well-timed interceptions and crucial tackles.

Bassey’s defensive solidity is one of his top qualities. He excels in maintaining a compact defensive shape, preventing opponents from finding spaces between the lines. Bassey’s positional discipline allows him to cut passing lanes and intercept opposition attacks often. His ability to position himself intelligently and communicate effectively with his teammates makes him a reliable option in the heart of the defense. His top-level understanding of defensive positioning allows him to maintain a balanced defensive line and cover for his teammates when necessary.

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Bassey of course presents an intriguing prospect with a strong defensive skill set, versatility to play at left-back and center-back, and commendable ball-playing abilities, Bassey could also provide the much-needed European experience as the Seagulls venture into the Europa League.

However, to fully maximize his impact, Bassey must address certain areas for improvement.

From speaking to Ajax and Rangers fans in this process, the conclusions seem to be that while he is a strong player, he does struggle occasionally with his decision-making under pressure, lack of contribution when transitioning into attack with proactive runs and generally better attacking instincts especially being uncreative from left back. These do form key components of De Zerbi’s system and things that will take time to adapt to and change habits from but I wouldn’t trust any manager more than De Zerbi to improve those parts of his game over the course of a season.

He will also have to adapt swiftly to the demands of the Premier League which is never an easy transition. Should he join the ranks under the guidance of De Zerbi, Bassey has the potential to develop into a valuable asset for Brighton’s defensive stability and overall progress but it may not be as easy as some suggest.

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While Bassey’s defensive attributes are his primary strengths, he does also offer potential in contributing to the attacking phase. He possesses good ball-carrying ability, enabling him to progress play from the back. Bassey’s composure on the ball and passing range allow him to initiate quick transitions and find his teammates in advanced positions, contributing to the team’s buildup play. His ability to make incisive passes and join the attack when the opportunity arises adds an extra dimension to his game. However, he does struggle with making progressive moves while under pressure as mentioned and these skills are conditional to the situation he finds himself in.

Fit in De Zerbi’s System:

Bassey’s skill set aligns well with Roberto De Zerbi’s tactical approach, which emphasizes defensive solidity and effective ball circulation from the back. The Nigerian international’s ability to operate as both a left-sided central defender and left-back provides valuable flexibility to the team. Bassey’s defensive awareness and positional discipline would enhance Brighton’s ability to neutralize opposition attacks, while his ball-playing skills could contribute to the team’s fluid attacking style. Additionally, his versatility allows De Zerbi to make tactical adjustments and provide cover in various positions, adding depth to the squad.

Calvin Bassey’s potential arrival at Brighton & Hove Albion would address the club’s need for defensive reinforcements as they prepare for their Europa League campaign. The 23-year-old’s versatility, defensive solidity, and potential contributions in the attacking phase make him an intriguing prospect for the Seagulls. While his stint at Ajax may not have gone as planned, a move to Brighton could offer Bassey a fresh start and an opportunity to revitalise his career at an early stage.


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