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Bassey not yet at Martínez level, says ex-Chelsea star

Retired Netherlands international and former Chelsea star Khalid Boulahrouz does not want to compare Calvin Bassey to Manchester United defender Lisandro Martínez.

Ajax Amsterdam quickly moved for Bassey following the transfer of the versatile Argentina international to Manchester United in the summer.

Bassey became the most expensive Nigerian defender in history and Rangers’ biggest sale with his move to Ajax Amsterdam for a fee of 23 million euros and the fee could rise to 26.5 million euros with performance-related add-ons included.

Just like Martinez, Bassey can play multiple positions on the pitch including left-back, centre-back, and left-wingback, and can be used in multiple formations.

Ajax manager Alfred Schreuder has pushed Daley Blind to the left-back position in several matches this season to accommodate the former Rangers starlet in central defence, but the roles were reversed in Wednesday’s Champions League match against Napoli.

Boulahrouz underlined that the Nigeria international is still learning the trade as a defender while Martinez is at the peak of his career.

“It’s not really fair that we compare Bassey, who has just arrived, with a Martínez who is leaving at his peak,” Boulahrouz told Ziggo Sport, via Ajax Showtime.

“He’s in that spot, but Martínez was a toxic defender and I think that was the nice thing about Daley Blind. He could attack relaxed and everything that happened in his back, he had Martínez for that.”

Bassey has been criticized by several Dutch pundits in recent weeks but the Ajax coach continues to keep faith with the Super Eagles star, handing him eleven consecutive starts in all competitions.

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