Aston Villa have been strongly linked with a move for Calvin Bassey, and with Matt Targett securing his future with Newcastle United, there is an opportunity for Steven Gerrard to strengthen the team’s defence.
According to the Birmingham Mail, Villa are now prioritising the signing of defensive reinforcements during the summer transfer window, with the left-hand side an area of concern for the club.
As per the report, Rangers‘ Calvin Bassey has been identified as a top target for the Villa manager, with the view that he would provide backup across the defence.
Villa didn’t have the best end to their Premier League campaign in 2021/22, with no wins from their last four games and 19 defeats overall. Gerrard will be looking to improve upon that ahead of next season to ensure that his side can progress from their 14th-placed finish this time around.
Bassey would certainly add depth and could even be a massive upgrade for the defence at Villa Park if he can emulate the performances and deliver the talent that he has displayed at Rangers.
The £25m-valued Villa target, who was dubbed “astonishing” by Owen Hargreaves after last month’s Europa League final, has been a dominant force for the Gers this season, deployed as both a left-back and a centre-back during his 50 appearances in all competitions as he proved his versatility in positioning.
As per SofaScore, in 29 Scottish Premiership appearances, the Nigerian delivered three assists, created one big chance and made 1.5 tackles and 1.2 clearances per game. He won the majority of his duels (63%) and also completed the majority of his dribbles (52%).
Bassey is no stranger to Gerrard, as 22-year-old was given his Rangers debut at left-back under the current Villa boss, who has lavished praise on the player in the past.
Speaking in a press conference following one of Bassey’s performances in the Europa League, the former Rangers boss claimed (via Inside Futbol): “I thought he [Bassey] was outstanding, coming into a game of that level with so little experience. We are all proud of him and with time we believe we can develop him even further.”
If Gerrard can tempt the defender to Villa Park this summer, he will have the opportunity to develop and deploy Bassey’s talents in his team once again to help the Midlanders climb the Premier League table and enjoy a better finish next season.