COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – On Saturday morning, Colorado Rapids announced that homegrown midfielder Cole Bassett has been recalled from his loan to Feyenoord Rotterdam. He has been loaned to Fortuna Sittard, also of the Eredivisie, for the 2022-23 season. Feyenoord retain the option to buy Bassett at the end of the loan. Here’s what all this means for the parties involved.
What the Cole Bassett Loan to Fortuna Sittard means for all parties
First, some reporting to add context. Sources familiar with the deal have told Last Word on Soccer several things:
Feyenoord’s option to buy Bassett will remain at the price that was negotiated back in January. It’s not clear what this means for the original loan fee, but if Feyenoord were to purchase Bassett, the total fee (transfer fee + loan fee) is believed to be more than the fee for Sam Vines to Royal Antwerp. Feyenoord has until March to decide. The transfer will be effective summer 2023. There is a clause in the loan to Fortunezen that if certain performance metrics are not met, Bassett could return to Colorado in January.
With that insight, let’s look at what this means.
Cole Bassett loan to Fortuna Sittard is official. He’s released from loan to Feyenoord, who retain the option to buy. #SamenNaoVeure
– Option to buy is at the original price negotiated in January
– Feyenoord have till March to decide on that, would be for summer ’23 https://t.co/JgQAhj5eat
— Matt Pollard (@LWOSMattPollard) August 13, 2022
Colorado Rapids and Bassett himself:
Bassett was a late sub option for Feyenoord this spring. While his slow start was not cause for concern, Feyenoord got a financial windfall of over $60 million this summer. They’re reloading. Bassett was likely to take a backseat again this fall. The player’s just turned 21-years-old. Spending a year at Feyenoord and getting 500 minutes or less does not help him or the Rapids. He still wants to give playing in Europe a shot. Colorado has chosen to respect that by having him remain in the Netherlands. He’ll be given playing time with patience at Fortuna in ways he was not going to get at Feyenoord. This gives the player a chance to prove himself in a league and country he’s now settled in.
Fortuna avoided the relegation playoffs by a point last year, so one could argue this is a lateral move. There’s something to be said for doing it in the Eredivisie, which is a known quantity to Feyenoord and other European clubs that might be interested. A year of playing regularly is a much better sample size than what he showed last spring. The club’s betting on the player. If he succeeds to where a transfer happens (Feyenoord’s option to buy, Feyenoord making a later bid, Fortuna or someone else making a bid), this move will benefit them financially in the long run. It’s now up to Cole. If it doesn’t work out, Colorado will welcome him back. He can say he gave it a try in Europe. That door will not have slammed shut even if the loan ends in January.
Patient Feyenoord trying to time their roster build:
As previously mentioned, Feyenoord got a bunch of money from outgoing summer transfers. They’re in the middle of spending it. Arne Slot and the board still rate Bassett. He might be more of a project than previously though. For Dutch clubs not named Ajax, their rosters are a revolving door of talented young players coming in and being sold a few years later for a profit to a top five league. Bassett’s 18-month loan timed the market poorly. Feyenoord needs more data on him. Given they’re trying to break into the top three in the Eredivisie, that wasn’t likely to happen this year. They still want the option to buy him, meaning they see potential. It worked out that he’ll remain within the league. They can keep an eye on him. He could shine and grow starting for Fortuna. If they feel he’s grown enough by March to be a regular for them come 2023-24, they can buy him for relatively little.
Fortuna need a bridge player to rebuild:
The club has had a shakeup in ownership recently. Manager Sjors Ultee is in his first stint as a first team head coach. They’re looking to build a stable club and elevate themselves above the relegation conversation. They need to spend wisely and bring in players with upside. I bet they’re not paying as much of Bassett’s $450,000 salary that Feyenoord were. They get a player who’s familiar with the league and country. He’s a bridge loan while they build out the team with permanent signings. If Bassett shows his quality in the final third, he could be a big part of their fight to stay up comfortably. If he fits in but not well enough for Feyenoord to buy him, they could make a bid for a permanent move. Luca de la Torre showed Americans can find stable success in the Netherlands. That translated to national team opportunities and a move abroad.
Last Word: USMNT Implications
Bassett is not and has never really been in consideration for Qatar. If he’s scoring hattricks and Fortuna are top of the league, we can revisit that. This move is the first of multiple that will be needed for him to have a role in the 2026 World Cup cycle.