FOOTBALL NEWS

"Davide is my type of player - a creative midfielder who can release the ball for the strikers and create something for himself as well."

- Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

06/09/2013 11:49, Report by Adam Marshall
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Hasselbaink's Reds pledge

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is keen to continue Royal Antwerp's special relationship with Manchester United.

The Antwerp coach signed Davide Petrucci on loan this week to add to the number of Reds who have furthered their education at the Belgium club.

In an exclusive interview with MUTV's Thursday Focus show, the former Leeds, Chelsea and Middlesbrough star admits he is determined to benefit from the link-up with the Barclays Premier League champions.

"I work for Antwerp and they want to keep that link," Hasselbaink explained. "I'm going to enforce that.

"I'm going to enforce bringing youngsters over from Manchester United to us because a) I think it's good for the relationship and b) I think it is good for my team as well. It's always good to give youngsters the opportunity to play minutes.

"In the past, we've had a lot of Manchester United players - Danny Higginbotham and several others - and, when you speak to them, it has benefited them to come over and just stand on their own two feet and play matches. I think it's a good thing."

Petrucci made his debut in a goalless draw against AS Eupen in midweek and looks certain to be a star in the Belgian Second Division this term after injury cut short a spell with Peterborough United in the Championship last season.

"He's an extremely gifted football player," enthused Hasselbaink. "He's a good midfield player, highly technical, who played his first match for 70 minutes and did really well. He's going to be a big asset to our team.

"I'd seen lots of DVDs about him and seen how he plays and how he likes to play. I spoke to him before he came here and I spoke to Warren Joyce about him on several occasions. 

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