Former Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has had his say on the club’s links with Rangers defender Calvin Bassey.
The lowdown: Bassey’s rise to stardom
Released by Leicester City as a youngster without making a single first-team appearance, the Italy-born full-back has risen to prominence in Scotland.
Having made his senior debut and 27 further outings under current Villa manager Steven Gerrard, Bassey has gone from strength to strength following the appointment of Giovanni van Bronckhorst at Ibrox.
The latest: Agbonlahor endorses Bassey move
Speaking to Football Insider about the potential of Bassey following Gerrard from Ibrox to Villa Park, Agbonlahor suggested that the proposed switch made plenty of sense.
The regular talkSPORT pundit said: “The problem with Rangers and Celtic is they can’t pay the money that teams in the Premier League can. Goldson’s trying to move for financial reasons.
“What can Rangers offer Bassey? That’s the issue. He could probably get double the money at Aston Villa. I’m sure he would be reluctant to sign a new contract and see what is out there for him, to be honest.
“There will be clubs out there for him, 1000 per cent. He’s quick, calm on the ball, strong and good in the air. I’d take him at Aston Villa tomorrow. A lot of clubs in the Premier League will look at him. I’m surprised that Leicester let him go, to be honest. That’s very strange.”
The verdict: Spot on
Valued at just £900,000 and under contract until 2024 (Transfermarkt), any move for Bassey would likely be an affordable one for NSWE as Gerrard attempts to strengthen the ranks at Villa Park.
Despite predominantly being recognised as a left-back, the Nigeria ace made 24 of his 50 appearances across all competitions for Rangers this season as a central defender, highlighting his impressive versatility.
Who has been Villa's Player of the Season?
The talented youngster – who has been dubbed ‘the next Van Dijk’ by former Scotland defender Christophe Berra after the Liverpool player left a Glasgow club before rising to elite stardom – earned a 6.97 Sofascore rating from 29 Scottish Premiership outings this term, winning 5.2 duels, completing 1.2 clearances and making 52.3 accurate passes per game in the process.
Having sanctioned the loan and potential permanent departure of Matt Targett to Newcastle, Gerrard currently only has Lucas Digne at his disposal as a recognised left-back option, so he certainly has scope for a reunion with Bassey, who is developing all the time into a top-class defensive operator.
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