There’s a huge gap in terms of class, quality, money and audience between the English Premier League and the Scottish Premier League.
The English Premier League is regarded as one of the best leagues in the world not because it has produced the highest number of Ballon d’Or winners in more than two decades. To put it into perspective, the English league has only produced six winners since inception compared to the likes of the Spanish league, Italian league, and German Bundesliga, but simply because it is the most watched league, it has more money as a result of its highest appeal to audiences in the world.
Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho once said that “The power and enduring appeal of the Premier League is not in the quality of its football but rather in the excitement it provides and its inherent competitiveness.” But having quotes like “The Scottish league is a farmers’ league.” or “My grandma could score in the Scottish league.” is very debatable because, over time, some great players have graced the Scottish league and have gone on to do exploits in much superior leagues.
Some players who have done well and are still doing well in the EPL are: David Weir, Stiliyan Petrov, and Steven Fletcher.
The likes of Virgil Van Dijk came to the EPL relatively unknown and he’s arguably one of the best defenders in the EPL and the world at large, Kieran Tierney is not left out as he has been more than decent to say the least.
After putting on one of his best footballing performances at the biggest stage of his young footballing career that earned him the MOTM award despite losing the finals to Eintracht frankfurt on penalty, the 22 year old Calvin Bassey put in with numerous tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocks, clearing up dangers, ‘colossus’ sprint recovery over and over again across the length and breath of his defence line.
He was so good that talk sport hosts Cundy and Jamie O’Hara could not help but soak themselves
Lyrically just as the fans of Grammy award winner Burna boy sing every lyric from the track “Last Last” about the talented 22-year-old as he was compared to a seasoned defender in Virgil Van Dijk. They went on, “He looked sensational tonight, absolutely sensational. I thought he was the best player on the pitch,” talkSPORT host Cundy said on The Sports Bar.
“He was immense, 22 years of age. He is destined for big things, this kid – he was absolutely superb tonight.”,“Anyone watching that will be thinking ‘that’s the kind of player I want in my team”, former Manchester United and England midfielder Owen Hargreaves said on the night. Rangers legend Ally McCoist hailed Bassey as “absolutely phenomenal” for his Europa League final display. The 22-year-old was a “colossus.”
So for a player like this to have enjoyed the amount of positive reviews about his footballing prowess leaves no doubt in his abilities to succeed at the highest and most competitive league in the world. It was quite shocking to hear the assessment of former Aston villa player Frank McAvennie as he believes that the 22-year-old is not good enough and he needs more time with Rangers as he will be exposed if he makes the switch to the Premier League. His comment came on the heels of Aston Villa showing interest in him. “Can he go in and play in the Premier League right now? No,” McAvennie said. “I don’t think he is good enough for the Premier League. If Gerrard is buying him, it’s because he has done a job in Scotland, England is a whole different game. He’s muscle-bound but if he comes up against someone like Jack Grealish he will get ripped apart.” he suggested that another year up with Rangers and maybe he might be ready. the brutal truth is, he’s not good enough.”
Just as the EPL is regarded as the best league not because of its footballing quality but rather in the excitement it provides, so also the comments of McAvennie because his comment can not be statistically backed when compared with other D, DL defenders apart from the big 7 teams in the EPL.
Let’s make a statistical comparison with Calvin bassey and some selected players plying their trade in the EPL.
Let’s make a statistical comparison with Calvin bassey and some selected players plying their trade in the EPL
According to whoscored.com, Bassey is only second to Lucas Digne with a 6.94 rating compared to 6.79. We might argue that the EPL is of more quality compared to the SPL so Bassey had a simpler route to higher rating but let us compare the stats. of two defenders fresh from the SPL to their EPL debut season.
on 1 September 2015, Van Dijk signed a five-year contract with Premier League club Southampton, managed by Ronald Koeman, for a reported £13 million transfer fee and he made his debut for Southampton on 12 September while Kieran Tierney was signed for Arsenal from Celtic on Deadline Day for a fee of £25m.
Both of these players straight from the SPL not only did they put on a decent performance on their debut, they also went on to have a fantastic ratings at the end of the season and by doing so, not only did they prove that quality players can come from the SPL to do well competitively but McAvennie comments on Cavin Bassey has no reflection on his abilities.
Carvin Bassey has all the qualities to succeed in the fast pace english league that requires stamina, strength, acceleration, awareness e.t.c according to fifa22 career rating, Bassey has high work rate and high defensive work which was very evident in the uefa europa league final.
He has a defensive awareness of 62%, stand tackle 70%, slide tackle 70%, strength 85%
As we can see from his ratings, Bassey has a lot to improve and polish around his game for him to achieve his potential of becoming one of the best defenders of his generation but what is not fair and true on Bassey, is for the likes of McAvennie to look down on his abilities and the level of performance he put out in the 2021/2022 season both in the league and the Europa league.
Bassey played a total number of 56 games across all competitions averaging 85.9min per game while having a decent level of disciplinary record of 8 yellow cards for the whole season, averaging 1 yellow card in 7 games and zero red cards for the whole season.
To show how much stability he gave to the team, Rangers had 66% win and 14% loss when he’s in the team compared to 53% win and 27% loss when he was not present.
One can’t put on the below level of performance in one of the biggest footballing stages to be regarded as not “good enough for the EPL.” according to statistics obtained from Joshua Barrie@JoshuaBarrieRR (Writing, talking and analysing for the @rangersreview55)
“A performance that deserved to be on the winning side.” Joshua Barrie @JoshuaBarrieRR said on his twitter page.
While the likes of McAvennie were still having doubts on the potential of Bassey, one of the best club that aid the growth and development of young players in world football had no time to think because they are more than convince of what Bassey can go on to achieve with his abilities as they paid a transfer fee for the Rangers defender in deal worth just under £23.
His signing for Ajax does not only cement his status as a natural talented defender but one Ajax see as their future and if he continues his meteoric rise from leicester reserves to a record signing fee received by Rangers in their history in the space of 2 years, this will not be the last of bassey as he will go on to dominate world football.
Remember his name Calvin Bassey