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Former West Ham United and Aston Villa target Calvin Bassey admits he turned down Premier League offers once Ajax made their interest known, speaking to the Daily Record. 

As far as debuts go, it wasn’t exactly Jonathan Woodgate at Real Madrid but it certainly wasn’t the start Bassey dreamed of. 

The Nigerian international had only been on the pitch 16 minutes before stomping down the tunnel again, given a straight red card after a rather reckless challenge. Just to rub salt into those wounds, Ajax would go on to lose 5-3 to rivals PSV Eindhoven, the Johan Cruyff Shield heading to the Phillips Stadium rather than the Amsterdam Arena. 

So, to quote one particular mid-90s pop group, ‘Things can only get better’.  

Calvin Bassey leaves Rangers for Ajax

Bassey was a target for West Ham and Aston Villa, per The Athletic, after an excellent breakthrough season at Rangers. But once Ajax made their interest known, there was only one club the former Leicester City youngster was interested in joining. 

“I was doing pre-season with Rangers and. Then I was told by my agent that the great Ajax wanted me! When I saw how hard Ajax were working to sign me, I got really excited,” says Bassey, who set the Eredivisie champions back a cool £20 million. 

“Returning to England might have been the safest option for me. And, of course, I know the language and the Premier League is a great competition. But it did not outweigh my desire to move to Ajax.” 

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Earlier in the summer, it appeared only a matter of time before Steven Gerrard and Bassey would be reunited. Aston Villa will now have to make do with Sevilla loanee Ludwig Augustinsson instead. 

West Ham, meanwhile, remain in the market for a additions on the left-hand side. Filip Kostic is the top target, with Leicester’s Luke Thomas and Burnley’s Maxwel Cornet also in contention. 

From Ibrox to Ajax

“I am grateful to Rangers for everything and very happy that I can play now for Ajax,” Bassey adds.  

“It’s been overwhelming since I arrived. Ajax feels like one big family to me. The way I was received by the players and the people around the team immediately felt very good. 

“Every year you see new young players playing for Ajax in the Champions League, getting better and better. That development appeals to me. And, here, I can play for trophies, watch myself grow.” 

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