Giovanni van Bronckhorst has enjoyed a perfect start to life at Ibrox with two wins out of two in charge of Rangers this month.
One player who has immediately benefitted from his arrival is Calvin Bassey, who has started both games for the Gers as a centre-back despite being a left-back by trade and has duly shot to prominence.
Borna Barisic and the ex-Leicester man have been battling it out to start on the left-side of the defence this season, with Steven Gerrard often alternating between them. However, Bassey may have found his new place in the team on a regular basis in a centre-back role.
An injury to Leon Balogun after the 3-1 defeat to Hibernian caused an issue for Van Bronckhorst ahead of his first game. Instead of making the easy decision of playing natural centre-back Jack Simpson alongside Connor Goldson, he put his faith in Bassey and has been rewarded so far.
Leicester City under-23 manager Steven Beaglehole previously dubbed the 21-year-old “phenomenal” and that would be a great way to describe his application to playing at the heart of defence in the last two games.
In the win over Sparta, he was outstanding at the back. As per SofaScore, he won all three of his duels on the pitch, as he made two clearances and one tackle. He also had 66 touches of the ball and completed 84% of his passes as he showed that he could play out from the back effectively against good opposition.
Van Bronckhorst then placed his trust in him again as he started against Livingston. As per SofaScore, he won eight of his 11 duels and made one clearance, three tackles and two blocks as the Gers won 3-1. He also had a whopping 93 touches and completed 91% of his attempted passes, including all three of his long passes.
In the two games combined, he has won 11 duels out of 14 competed and had 159 touches of the ball. This shows how important he has been to Rangers both defensively and in possession in Van Bronckhorst’s first two games in charge, as he has been pivotal to their defending and their progressive play on the ball from centre-back.
Hopefully he will continue to shine in this position and go from strength to strength under the Dutchman. Whilst he has played in the role previously for Gerrard, he has never had a sustained run of games there, and this could be his opportunity to do so.