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Calvin Bassey: Why we signed Nigerian star from Rangers – Ajax chief reveals

Gerry Hamstra, the sporting director at Ajax, defended the team’s choice to spend a lot of money on Nigerian defender Calvin Bassey.

On Wednesday, the Eredivisie champions revealed that they had acquired the 22-year-old from Glasgow Rangers of the Scottish Premiership.

The player, who last year started for Rangers under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, was acquired by Ajax for €27 million.

Two years ago, Rangers only paid Leicester City €230,000 for Bassey.

Several clubs in Europe took notice of the left-back after his enthusiastic performance in the Rangers’ UEFA Europa League final loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Hamstra thought they could profit from the former Leicester City player’s quick development.

“Calvin got into professional football late at Leicester City. 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 really taken off at Rangers,” he told the club’s official website.

“We are getting one of the stars of the Europa League final. At first, he played as a 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.

“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. 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.”

Prior to the new season, Bassey has already joined the team at their training facility in Austria.

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