The emergence of Rangers defender Calvin Bassey hasn’t just bolstered the Ibrox backline – but it’s solved a January transfer conundrum ahead of the upcoming window.

Only a matter of weeks ago did signing a centre-back look to be a Rangers priority in the January window with the club stretched for options at the heart of the defence.

Olympique Lyon v Rangers FC: Group A - UEFA Europa League

Calvin Bassey, 21, has shone for Rangers in a new centre-back role. (Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Filip Helander is recovering from knee surgery, whilst Leon Balogun eventually felt the impact of an extended run in the side amid a dearth of options at Ibrox.

Ex-Bournemouth defender Jack Simpson remains unfancied – and increasingly likely to exit in January – so prior to Calvin’s emergence centre-back looked to be decidedly thin.


But with Swedish international Fil and Nigerian counterpart Leon both set to return to the side in the coming months, the adoption of Calvin Bassey at centre-back has cooled the imminent need for reinforcements.

Whilst the defender himself admits that he is more suited to a left-back role, there are elements of his wing-back game which make him an interesting option at centre-back.

Calvin Bassey has brought energy and enthusiasm to Rangers centre-back role

Offering natural balance to the ball-carrying, forward-thinking Connor Goldson at right centre-back, the naturally left footed Calvin Bassey has been a positive and progressive option as Goldson’s partner.

Regularly carrying the ball yards up the pitch, that dribbling ability associated with marauding runs at left-back has been utilised in recent weeks, as has the technical and passing ability that comes with it.

Calvin also has all the physical attributes to make it as a centre-back – if not a reluctance at times in the air – with Bassey both fit enough and strong enough to compete in the position.

There are things that need to be worked on; twice in quick succession was Bassey’s positioning brought into question after an own goal against Lyon and the bar was struck v Hearts.

Carrying the ball too – along with attempting progressive passes from centre-back – can present issues naturally and for bold defenders like this regaining their composure amid mistakes is vital.

Olympique Lyonnais v Rangers FC: Group A - UEFA Europa League

Calvin Bassey has played every minute under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, helping to keep five clean sheets in seven games. (Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)

There’s an immaturity to his defensive game that naturally comes with someone who has been traditionally trained at full-back but where there have been mistakes, Calvin has learned quickly.

Necessity they say is the mother of invention and in the need for a centre-back Calvin Bassey has somewhat reinvented himself as the defender we never knew we needed.

Unless Connor Goldson – entering the final six months of his contract – moves on, then Bassey’s emergence has also plugged a gap we were all convinced needed sealing in January.

Not that Rangers haven’t been linked with centre-back options – or that fans aren’t encouraging the club to sign them.

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