Rangers have high hopes for defender Calvin Bassey after being hugely encouraged by the start of his career at the club, Football Insider understands.
There was scepticism in some quarters when the Light Blues took advantage of the 20-year-old’s free agent status to sign him on a four-year deal when his Leicester City contract expired in June.
The left-back had not made a senior appearance for Brendan Rodgers’ side and his only experience had come at age-group level.
The footage available of Bassey on data analysis platform Wyscout, albeit limited as it was, had also not been especially flattering.
Steven Gerrard and his coaching staff have certainly been won over by the capture of a player with Ross Wilson’s fingerprints all over it.
Ibrox sources have told Football Insider the coaches have been hugely impressed by Bassey both behind the scenes and in his first-team appearances.
The sixth of those came in last night’s 2-0 Europa League win away to Standard Liege.
The match will be remembered for an outrageous goal from Kemar Roofe from the halfway line that Gerrard, no less, described afterwards as the “best I’ve seen live”.
But the forward’s fellow substitute and summer signing Bassey also looked the part after replacing the injured Borna Barisic 43 minutes into the match.
His aggression, driving runs and composure on the ball stood out like a beacon in what were torrential conditions that made slick interplay a major challenge.
Gerrard and his coaches have earmarked a big role for the rest of the season for a player they regard as a “gem”.
Depending on Barisic’s injury, he could now be set for an extended run in the team.
Former Rangers defender Alan Hutton told Football Insider how he has been hugely impressed by Bassey.
“I thought he came in and was outstanding to be honest, just playing with no fear, no fear at all – he just looks happy when he’s playing, he’s aggressive, he defends well, he defends one-v-ones, he gets forward, he’s got great energy.
“He ticks all the boxes for me and Barisic has got a real fight on his hands.”