If we remember back to the summer of 2021 the name of Calvin Bassey wasn’t a player we had much interest in. He’d been poor in his first season, and there just wasn’t much of note to speak of.
Then we saw him in preseason training.
Suddenly he was an absolute monster, who had used the past few months to completely overhaul his body, turning from a stocky and slightly bumbling defender into a lean, mean and powerful machine.
His performances took a massive upturn and suddenly he became the club’s most marketable asset.
Fashion Sakala had a similar debut to season to Bassey. He struggled with the game in Scotland, and had a desperate predilection for running around aimlessly getting caught offside.
In short, he lacked any awareness or intelligence, critical for a striker.
It was with hope that the example of Calvin Bassey could inspire Sakala, and he could work on himself over preseason, given Rangers’ dearth of serious striking options, and announce himself properly on the stage this summer.
If these friendlies are anything to go by, Sakala has, if anything, gone backwards.
It’s hard to dislike the Zambian, he’s a genuinely lovely chap with a sunny disposition on life – but his performances as a Ranger have not hit the heights he’d have wanted and given this big full preseason we’d have anticipated an improvement ala Bassey.
Not a bit of it. He’s still just a sub, and he’s still just not convincing enough fans that he’s of the right stuff to take Rangers forward.
He doesn’t seem to have done anything in the past few months to make a statement to Gio that he’s serious about his career at Rangers – unlike that massive overhaul Bassey made.
With Auxerre sniffing around the ex-Oostende man, this isn’t a player too many fans would miss.
But, as with all comments, our disclaimer is always that if Gio trusts the player to deliver, so do we. And we will always support the men in blue.
But Sakala really needs to sort himself out…