Former Rangers star Calvin Bassey has been backed to turn around his Ajax misfortunes.

His ex-coach at Ibrox, Roy Makaay, reckons the Dutch media have been overreacting to the defender's poor form this season.

The Nigeria international joined the Eredivisie side from Rangers in the summer for an upfront fee of £20million. Add-ons included in the deal could take that figure up by a further £6million.

He was sent off in the Johan Cruyff Shield on his debut meaning but he recovered to become a regular in the starting XI.

Bassey played every minute of their Champions League group stage campaign, including the matches against Rangers.

The Dutch giants went an a seven game run without a win in the league in recent months, which cost Alfred Schreuder his job.

Bassey became somewhat of a scapegoat in the team, with fans and pundits questioning his technical ability on the ball.

He has since been dropped from the team. In that time, Ajax beat Excelsior 4-1 and then Cambuur 5-0.

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However, asked on Dutch TV if Bassey is a better player than he's been given credit for, Makaay - who worked under Giovanni van Bronckhorst at Ibrox - said: "Yes, I think so. I was able to experience him up close for a year and saw him develop enormously in that year. He went from left back to central defender. He's very strong and fast.

“He is a boy who plays better and better when he has more confidence. I now see that he is struggling, but that also makes sense. Of course there is a lot of criticism of him. You know that criticism is part of a club like Ajax.

"I'm sure he can be of value to Ajax with his qualities. Of course he still has to develop on the ball, but he had a fantastic year last year."

Hans Kraay Jr added: "I never feel sorry for football players, but I do feel sorry for him sometimes. We judge him on the things he doesn't really have, namely the qualities in possession.

"He can head excellently, is super fast, can cover well. Ajax has also seen that, so use it that way and don't use it as a left back in the build-up. This boy can't help it that he didn't grow up in the Ajax school."