Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink reveals reason behind his 'negative' Leeds United exit
Last Updated: 03/01/19 4:32pm
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has revealed why he felt he was reluctantly made to leave Leeds United for Atletico Madrid in 1999.
Hasselbaink was signed for Leeds by George Graham in 1997 after he impressed the former Arsenal boss with his goalscoring exploits at Portuguese side Boavista.
However, the Dutchman's career in Yorkshire quickly unravelled after Graham left the club to take the manager's role at Tottenham, leaving his assistant David O'Leary to pick up the reins.
Hasselbaink, who scored 35 goals in 73 appearances for Leeds, has revealed for the first time to the Sky Sports News Transfer Talk Podcast why O'Leary's appointment eventually led to his Elland Road exit.
"David (O'Leary) was totally different (to Graham), it's always difficult for an assistant to take over once the manager has left," he said.
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"You would go quicker to an assistant to talk about certain things, a good assistant is somebody who keeps everybody together. Then all of a sudden he is the boss.
"I don't think I was David's cup of tea, you would have to ask him (why). Don't get me wrong, I was playing and I did well but I think he didn't see me in his long-term future at the club.
"We were in contract talks and it was not like he did his best to keep me."
Hasselbaink's relationship with Leeds United fans was damaged by his transfer to Atletico Madrid, something which he believes could have been, but was not, prevented by O'Leary.
"The things that went around when I left - he could have prevented all of those things. But it wasn't," he said.
"I left with a bitter taste in my mouth."
The former Netherlands international maintains that he would not have left Leeds had Graham remained in charge.
"Yeah it did (become easier to leave). I definitely think that if George Graham would have stayed then he would have never let me go," he added.
"But O'Leary had different plans and that's the thing - everybody sees football in a different way. His vision did not have me in it.
"I left with a lot of negativity. I think it could have and should have been a lot better."
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was speaking exclusively to the Sky Sports News Transfer Talk podcast. The full episode will be available from 6am on Sunday, and you can watch it On Demand on Sky Sports, on YouTube, or listen to it on your preferred podcast provider.