I’m sure that I’m not alone in marvelling at the arrant nonsense in the media these past couple of days about Calvin Bassey, the latest player at the centre of the Ibrox hype-machine. How many times have we seen this before? We saw it with Morelos, with Kent, with Aribo, with Kamara, with Tavernier, with Goldson and with Patterson.
They claimed to get £12 million for Patterson. An outright lie.
They didn’t get near that, and their main shareholders organisation has as good as called them out for it. How much was that fee? The mid millions maybe, a seven figure rather than an eight figure sum.
Add-ons and what not might take it up the eight figures eventually … but how likely does that look when you consider how little game-time he’s had in their team?
The hype over Bassey is incredible. You’d think he’d had a flawless season.
Not so. Not even close.
In fact, the Europa League final equaliser was an example – and not the only one from that game – where he was all at sea, and lost to the world.
His performance in the 3-0 game at Celtic Park was the definition of shambolic. Time and again, the movement of our players left him for dead. His positioning was all over the place.
All three of our goals were, to a degree or another, because he wasn’t where he should have been.
At Ross County’s second goal in the 3-3 game he is hilariously at fault.
He tries to kick the ball clear and actually misses it, letting Reagan-Cook get in to score.
At Ibrox against Celtic, not only is he beaten by Rogic in the run-up to the goal but once he loses that battle he remains almost frozen in his spot, and doesn’t move at all to cover the Australian when he runs in to get on the end of Kyogo’s deflected shot.
That is extraordinarily bad defending, the sort that would see a veteran’s value plummet. Of course, it’s Bassey who is standing on the line when Carter Vickers lashes the ball into the net for the second.
Watch the second half in that game; every time we go close the ball comes down that left hand side, where he was torn to pieces over and over again.
You can’t say that Ibrox doesn’t have a strategy here though. But it’s a familiar one. They look at a player they want to sell, they compare him with a player we’ve already sold who plays in the same position and they simply assume they’ll get the same fee.
But as has been repeatedly pointed out, our players are just better than theirs. Morelos was never as good as Edouard. Kent was not as good as any of the players Celtic has played out wide since he’s been at their club. Aribo is nowhere near the calibre of McGregor or Rogic and nor was Goldson in the same calibre as Ajer.
Here, and now, Bassey comes nowhere close to the talents of Kieran Tierney, although one idiotic report this morning suggested that Bassey is worth more by virtue of our former youth player’s injury record.
But Tierney was a seasoned veteran for Scotland and Celtic at the highest levels of Europe. He was a multi-title winner. At Arsenal he’s already got an FA Cup winners medal.
Bassey has played one full season for the Ibrox club, and those games I mentioned are just the ones that come automatically to mind in which he was responsible for goals that went the other way.
It is not terribly unusual to see Ibrox try to sell one of its players … nor is their bizarre method of deciding how to value them. But they don’t get to make that call.
It bears repeating over and over again; football is a buyer’s market and clubs will only pay what they think a player is worth. Selling clubs don’t get to simply name a fee and wait for someone to meet it.
A player’s value lies in how much they are wanted by other clubs, and there is no evidence whatsoever that Bassey is interesting anyone.
Their strategy of trying to match what Celtic got is ridiculous, particularly as none of the comparisons stack up when put under scrutiny. One report from this morning said that no-one wants to make the first move for Bassey because they know it will spark a “bidding war” … what a bizarre statement that is, and completely unmoored from reality.
They haven’t even attempted to put a realistic valuation on him … they’ve looked at what we got for Tierney and they’ve said they want more. That is not a credible way to do business. That is not a credible way to value footballers.
It is a joke, and all this crazy coverage is a joke.
As long as they base their player valuations on deals we’ve already done, they won’t even realise the real fees their guys are worth. This is why their best attempts to sell Kent, Morelos, Aribo, Kamara and others have already come to naught.
It’s why Bassey will be making mistakes in their defence for a while yet.