SASoccermag.co.za looks back at the legends of the Premier League, and today features Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and his exploits in the 2000-2001 season.
The Dutchman was 28 years old when Chelsea splashed out a club record £15-million to secure his signature from Atletico Madrid. This was to be Hasselbaink’s second stint in the Premier League, having first shown his ruthless scoring streak at Leeds from 1997-1999. And Chelsea fans didn’t have to wait long to see for themselves close up the quality he brought to the club. He immediately proved his worth by winning the Premier League’s Golden Boot award for the 2000-01 season, with 23 league goals. He also scored on his debut, in the 2-0 Charity Shield success over Manchester United.
However, United had the last laugh as they ran away with the league title, finishing on 80 points, some 10 ahead of runners-up Arsenal. Liverpool picked up the remaining Champions League spot, while Leeds, Ipswich and Chelsea qualified for the Uefa Cup. At the other end of the table, Bradford City finished last and were relegated, along with Coventry and Manchester City.
In his debut season with Chelsea, Hasselbaink’s value was shown by some of the names he beat to the Golden Boot. Marcus Stewart, of Ipswich, finished second with 19, followed by Thierry Henry (Arsenal) and Mark Viduka (Leeds) on 17, Michael Owen (Liverpool) on 16 and Teddy Sheringham (Manchester United) on 15.
Hasselbaink went on to become one of the Premier League’s greats, scoring 127 goals at the highest level during his spells with Leeds United, Chelsea, Middlesbrough and Charlton.
Jose Mourinho’s arrival in 2004 signalled the end of the Dutch favourite. ‘I never worked with Jose; he wanted to bring in his own people. I also think he had a perception of me that I was a bit difficult or that I wouldn’t be happy sitting on the bench,’ he wrote in his autobiography.
Now 44, Hasselbaink is himself a manager, and proved to a success at Burton Albion in League One before being appointed manager of Championship club Queens Park Rangers on 4 December 2015.
Premier League legend: Teddy Sheringham