If there has been one absolute shock this season, it’s been the transformation from underwhelming and stockily-built LB Calvin Bassey to lean, mean, strong, quick and vastly improved full back.
Last season regulars to this site will be well aware of how scathing we were of his frankly poor performances, with just one or two modestly ok ones and the majority being well below the standard needed.
Well, not only has Bassey (real name Ughelumba) worked on turning his career around over pre-season, with a completely new physique, but he looks a genuinely different player, having worked on crossing too.
His pinpoint assist for Ianis Hagi’s rare header v Dunfermline was stunning, and already this season Bassey has more successful crosses than Borna Barisic, whose fitness, form, and morale have become a major bone of contention for Rangers fans.
The former Leicester man suddenly looks the absolute real deal, and we can’t use the disclaimer of ‘it was only Dunfermline’ because he did it v Livi too.
He’s changed everything – his physical attributes, and his style, and from absolutely nowhere this squad player is looking hungry to take the first team place of the Croat.
On current form it’s a no-brainer in truth, Barisic is miles off the pace and needs a spell on the sidelines and hasn’t been himself the whole calendar year, not just this season.
Bassey’s rise to prominence makes it easy for Stevie to make that change.
While we won’t expect the regularity of crossing from Bassey we would get from an in-form Barisic, the 21-year old delivers everything else.
If ever one player turned round their reputation and career over the course of just one summer, it was Bassey.