Dick Advocaat defends Bassey amid criticisms


Former Netherlands manager Dick Advocaat has defended Calvin Bassey after ex-Dutch international Andy van der Meyde criticized the Nigerian defender for a poor performance in Ajax’s 3-2 Eredivisie loss to Feyenoord on Sunday.

The Nigerian has struggled since joining Amsterdam for £19 million from Glasgow Rangers, and his performance in their recent derby loss to Feyenoord has drawn harsh criticism.

Since moving to the Netherlands last summer, the defender has faced several backlash from former Dutch internationals.

Andy van der Meyde, an ex-Dutch international, demanded a free transfer, while Marco van Basten accused him of doing “everything in his power not to have the ball.”

But the 75-year-old former Feyenoord and Rangers manager Advocate has spoken in support of the Super Eagles’ defender, noting that Bassey was the best player at Ibrox last season and needed time to adapt.

“He was Rangers’ best player last season,” Advocaat told Glasgow Times.

“So, you can’t say he can’t play football, but he really needs time.

“His manager John Heitinga has pointed out that to get the best out of him, you must have other defenders who can help him out if he loses the ball.

“He’s a good defender first and foremost — Ajax didn’t buy him for his football abilities.”

Bassey has made 23 league appearances with one goal to his name.