What Cole Bassett’s loan to Fortuna Sittard means for all parties

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – On Saturday morning, Colorado Rapids announced that local midfielder Cole Bassett had been recalled from his loan spell at Feyenoord Rotterdam. He was loaned out to Fortuna Sittard, also from the Eredivisie, for the 2022-23 season. Feyenoord retains the option to buy Bassett at the end of the loan. Here’s what it all means for the parties involved.

What Cole Bassett’s loan to Fortuna Sittard means for all parties

First, some reports to add context. Sources familiar with the deal told Last Word on Soccer Several things:

Feyenoord’s option to buy Bassett will remain at the price negotiated in January. It’s unclear what this means for the original loan fee, but if Feyenoord bought Bassett, the total fee (transfer fee + loan fee) would be higher than Sam Vines’ fee at Royal Antwerp. Feyenoord have until March to decide. The transfer will be effective in the summer of 2023. There is a clause in the loan to Fortunezen that if certain performance metrics aren’t met, Bassett could return to Colorado in January.

With this idea, let’s look at what it means.

Colorado Rapids and Bassett himself:

Bassett was a late sub-option for Feyenoord this spring. While their slow start is no cause for concern, Feyenoord have secured a financial windfall of over $60m this summer. They reload. Bassett was likely to take a back seat again this fall. The player just turned 21. Spending a year in Feyenoord and getting 500 minutes or less doesn’t help him or the rapids. He still wants to try to play in Europe. Colorado chose to respect that by having him stay in the Netherlands. He will have game time with patience at Fortuna in a way he was not going to get at Feyenoord. This gives the player a chance to prove himself in a league and country in which he is now settled.

Fortuna avoided the relegation playoffs by one point last year, so you could say it’s a side move. There’s something to be said for doing it in the Eredivisie, which is a known amount of Feyenoord and other European clubs who might be interested. A year of regular play is a much better sample size than what it showed last spring. The club bets on the player. If he is successful where a transfer takes place (the option to buy Feyenoord, Feyenoord making a subsequent offer, Fortuna or someone else making an offer), that move will benefit them financially in the long run. It’s now up to Cole. If that doesn’t work, Colorado will welcome him back. He can say he tried in Europe. This door will not have closed even if the loan ends in January.

Patient Feyenoord trying to time the building of his list:

As mentioned before, Feyenoord received a lot of money from outgoing summer transfers. They are spending it. Arne Slot and the board are still evaluating Bassett. It might be more of a project than before though. For Dutch clubs not named Ajax, their rosters are a revolving door of talented young players who arrive and are sold a few years later for a profit to one of the top five leagues. Bassett’s 18-month loan timed the market poorly. Feyenoord needs more data on him. Considering they are trying to finish in the top three in the Eredivisie, that probably wouldn’t happen this year. They still want the option to buy it, which means they see potential. It turned out that he will stay in the league. They can keep an eye on him. He could shine and grow from Fortuna. If they feel he’s grown enough by March to be a regular for them in 2023-24, they can buy him for relatively little.

Fortuna needs a bridge player to rebuild:

The club recently changed ownership. Manager Sjors Ultee is in his first stint as first-team head coach. They are looking to build a stable club and rise above the relegation conversation. They need to spend wisely and bring in players with an edge. I bet they don’t pay as much of Bassett’s $450,000 salary as Feyenoord. They get a player who knows the league and the country. This is a bridging loan while they build the squad with permanent signings. If Bassett shows his quality in the final third, he could be a big part of their fight to stay comfortably on their feet. If he fits in but not well enough for Feyenoord to buy him, they could bid for a permanent move. Luca de la Torre showed that Americans can find stable success in the Netherlands. This resulted in national team opportunities and a move abroad.

Final Word: USMNT Implications

Bassett is not and has never really been considered for Qatar. If he scores hat tricks and Fortuna is top of the league, we can review that. The move is the first in a series that will be needed for him to play a part in the 2026 World Cup cycle.

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