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Nigeria captain Ahmed Musa has hit back at critics who wrote off Calvin Bassey after his first start for his country.

The 22-year-old enjoyed a breakout season last term as he played a key role in Rangers lifting the Scottish Cup and reaching the Europa League Final.

That has seen the defender tipped with a big money move to Aston Villa, with clubs across Europa also taking notice of his form.

It’s a far cry from Bassey’s nightmare first start for Nigeria, when he was thrown in at the deep end against Ghana in the World Cup playoff defeat.

read also:AFCON 2023: Peseiro’s Super Eagles in a testy encounter against Sierra Leone
The Ibrox defender was slammed in the Nigerian press for his display but skipper Musa insists the pundits were too quick to judge.

When asked about Bassey’s turnaround ahead of the clash with Sierra Leone, he said: “You have to help the young players that are coming.

“We have the U20, we have the U23. The Super Eagles is No.1 in Nigeria.

“You cannot bring a young player then start him, you are killing his career. Super Eagles is not like the club sides that the coaches give you time to come in.

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