Two ‘Rejected’ Players Who Broke Club’s Transfer Records This Summer

Calvin Bassey in action for Rangers

It is always said that it takes a second for someone’s story to change for good. Someone’s breakthrough can occur a few minutes after a major failure or rejection.

Some people need failure or rejection before seeing the need for development and growth. They won’t see the need to train harder, read well or behave responsibly until they experience failure.

The unwanted situation will eventually unveil the reality of life, that’s when they would start doubling their hustle and struggling to make things happen again.

Talking of rejection, do you know Taiwo Awoniyi and Calvin Bassey?

Do you know they have some things in common? It’s okay if you don’t know them, I will tell you their stories and what to learn from them. Let’s begin with Taiwo Awoniyi

Taiwo Awoniyi is a 24-year-old Nigerian football player who recently signed for Premier League side Nottingham Forest.

He played for the country’s U-17 side that won the 2013 world cup. He was one of the most impressive players during the cadet tournament where he scored four goals in eight games.

His goals were enough to grab Liverpool, Monaco and Porto’s attention as they were keen on signing him regardless of his age and inexperience then.

He ended up joining the Reds in his pursuit of a great professional career. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as planned for the-then 18 years old striker who was loaned to many clubs without a breakthrough.

At first, we thought his inability to feature for the Anfield outfits was due to a work permit but that wasn’t the case.

It turned out Jurgen Klopp didn’t believe in his ability to add more firepower to the Reds’ attacking department.

The German tactician sanctioned his permanent switch to German Bundesliga side Union Berlin last season, thereby denying the Nigerian the chance to make his dream premier league debut.

Fortunately, his move to the Bundesliga side turned out to be one to remember as got the chance and platform needed to take his career to a new success level.

The agile striker became fans’ favourite and the club’s most reliable goalscorer with 20 goals in all competitions.

His exploit for Urs Fischer’s team didn’t go unnoticed as top Premier League clubs like West Ham were linked with his signature.

After so much consideration and negotiations with suitors, he chose Nottingham Forest over the Hammers. The £17.5m transfer made him the club’s most expensive player.

Calvin Bassey

If someone had told Bassy two years ago that he would be Ranger’s most expensive sale in 2022, he would laugh at it because things weren’t working out at the time.

Bassey, 22, started his football career at Leicester City after signing his first professional contract.

He dreamed of making his debut for the first team in no time but that wasn’t meant to be as he wasn’t rated by Brendan Rodgers and his backroom staff.

He left the Premier League outfits in search of a greener pasture where he would develop into a fantastic player. Scottish league giants Rangers were fast to snap him up for £230,000 from the King Power Stadium in 2020.

Despite having a slow start to his Rangers career, Bassey eventually broke into Steven Gerrard’s team before the Englishman left for Aston Villa.

He featured in some matches for the team before Giovanni van Bronckhorst stepped into the dugout. Despite the change in a managerial position, Bassey remains the first name on the team list due to his versatility and impressive performance.

He helped Rangers clinched their first League title under Gerrard the 2020/21 season. He also added to his trophy cabinet after winning the Scottish Cup last season.

His consistent performance unsurprisingly earned him his international debut with Nigeria, while he also caught top clubs’ attention across Europe.

He was linked with a move to Aston Villa to reunite with Gerrard who gave him the first opportunity to showcase his talents in Scotland.

Few weeks later, another report suggested that Brighton & Hoves are keenly interested in luring him to the Amex Stadium ahead of next season.

While the 22-year-old was pondering over which Premier League side would be good for his development, Ajax suddenly sprung up with a massive offer.

Having sold Lisandro Martínez to Manchester United, the Eredivisie were convinced the Nigerian fullback is the best man to replace the departed Argentinian star.

Ajax was eager to beat other suitors to his signature, hence they launched a huge £22.7m (€26.5m) bid for his signature.

The fee appeared too huge for Rangers to turn down while Bassey couldn’t overlook the chances of playing in next season’s Champions League as both sides sealed the transfer deal on Wednesday.

With the deal done and dusted, Bassey officially becomes the most expensive player sold by the Rangers football club.

Bassey And Awoniyi Similarities

What’s the similarity between both players? First, they are both Nigerian internationals.

The players were both rejected at some point in their respective careers. They didn’t give up; instead, they doubled their efforts and keep on going. Both players eventually became record breakers and pace-setters.

Lesson Learned From Taiwo And Bassey’s Careers

Don’t let failure or rejection bring you down. Instead, let it motivate you and give you a reason to keep on going because there’s a point to prove.

That’s it for this week’s Sportivation series…. Hope you love it? Drop your thoughts in the comment section below.

Ibukun Italoye

Ibukun Italoye is a writer with laudable years of experience writing in various niches, including football, lifestyle, screenwriting, and stories. He is a Christian, a brother and a friend who loves helping others reach their full potential.

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