Super Eagles defender Calvin Bassey has attributed the team's goal-scoring struggles at the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to the performance of midfielders and attackers.
Despite being one of the most defensively sound teams in the tournament ongoing in Ivory Coast, conceding only one goal, the Super Eagles have faced challenges in the offensive aspect.
The lack of efficiency in the offensive department has led to the Super Eagles surrendering their top spot in Group A to Equatorial Guinea.
Despite boasting a lineup filled with star-studded, attacking-minded players under the leadership of Jose Peseiro, the team has managed to score only three goals in three games.
What did Calvin Bassey say?
When questioned about the Super Eagles' challenges in scoring goals and converting their chances at the AFCON, Bassey humorously deflected the attention to his teammates, stating, “Go and ask the midfielders and attackers because, me, I am defending. I try my own.”
He went further to express confidence in the team's efforts to address the issue. He acknowledged the hard work being put in by the players and coaching staff to improve their attacking prowess.
The Fulham man also commended the team's defensive performance, highlighting their ability to keep clean sheets and maintain a solid defensive structure. In his own words, Bassey stated:
“Of course we are working on it. You seem to have all the answers, I think we’ve done well defensively.”
How important is Calvin Bassey to the Super Eagles team?
The performances of the 22-year-old have endeared him to the Nigerian football faithful, with some labeling him as the new ‘Maldini' due to his versatility, which is believed to be reminiscent of the Italy and AC Milan legend.
Bassey is a left-back by trade but one whose greatest strength comes in attack, so much so that he has been deployed as a wing-back in the Super Eagles last two games in order to maximise his qualities. He is well suited to that role because of his supreme athleticism and stamina. He can also comfortably play as a centre-back.
Bassey loves to get on the ball and is a progressive passer, always looking to get the ball forward. He is also known for his wicked deliveries in the box.
Defensively, he holds his own well in one-on-ones, with his recovery pace often bailing him out if an attacker gets past him.
Calvin Bassey will be one of Jose Peseiro's trusted generals on the pitch in their Round of 16 clash against neighbours and rivals, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, on Saturday, January 27.