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HomeSportsHasselbaink backs Chelsea to shake off their blues

Hasselbaink backs Chelsea to shake off their blues

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Chelsea’s Premier League Golden Boot winner in the 2000-01 season, believes that unlike the Roman Abramovich era, the new club ownership wants continuity and is therefore patient with under-fire manager Graham Potter.

Chelsea’s Kai Havertz, right, celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the English Premier League (AP)

Chelsea, who were held by Everton 2-2 on Saturday night and remain 10th in the Premier League table, have had an underwhelming season so far. Potter faces the heat to deliver after the club spent heavily in the January transfer window. But as Chelsea’s long-time ownership changed from Abramovich to a consortium led by US billionaire Todd Boehly last year, so has the thinking. And Hasselbaink, who made 177 appearances for the Blues from 2000-04 and was part of the club when Abramovich took over in 2003, said the thought process is refreshing.

“We all know how the previous ownership was working. The turnover in managers was a lot more frequent. I think these owners, they want a project. They want young players, they believe in young players, and they want a manager who is going to believe that with them,” said the Dutchman on a visit to Mumbai as part of a global tour by the club and the CFC Foundation that saw the former striker conduct a football clinic in Dharavi on Sunday.

“Potter has come and he’s had lots of issues to deal with. The results have been up and down. But I still think it is a project. And these new American owners want to see continuity. So that is, in a way, refreshing, and refreshing for football as well.”

Chelsea, unbeaten in their last four games across competitions, still find themselves in the Champions League and will be up against Real Madrid in the quarter-finals next month.

Hasselbaink, who scored 87 goals for Chelsea before moving to Middlesbrough in 2004, said it is a tough draw for the Blues.

“But if you want to win the Champions League, you have to be able to beat everybody,” he said. “It’s not going to be an easy game, but you have to believe. We have done it in the past and there’s no reason why we can’t do it again.”

He lavished praise on Enzo Fernandez, the Argentine World Cup winner for whom Chelsea splashed £107 million in January. “Enzo is a young player that is very exciting. He’s very aggressive and technically very good as well. What I like, as an ex-striker, he is always looking to play forward. I believe he’s going to be a big player, a big star for Chelsea.”

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