Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has had a massive impact on my career, says QPR forward
PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 April 2016 | UPDATED: 14:29 04 May 2016
QPR forward Nasser El Khayati has admitted he never envisaged making the progress he has in such a short space of time – hailing Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s role in that.
It was only last year El Khayati was plying his trade in the third division of the Dutch amateur league with Kozakken Boys.
It was there that he caught the attention of a number of English and Dutch suitors following a run of 10 goals in as many games, with Championship side Reading and then League Two outfit Burton Albion among them.
The Royals rejected the chance to sign the 27-year-old after taking him on trial, but the Brewers jumped at the opportunity to sign the forward.
The rest was history, as they say. El Khayati played a starring role in the Brewers’ promotion to the third tier, before scoring eight goals for the League One promotion hopefuls this season, prior to being reunited with Hasselbaink at Loftus Road in February.
Even El Khayati struggles to fathom the journey the last year has taken him on.
He told the Times: “When I was playing for the third division side in Holland before I joined Burton, I was never thinking I would get to this level so quickly.
“Before that I was always playing for professional football clubs so I always believed I could play at a higher level, but not as soon as I have done now.
“It’s fantastic for me to be at such a big club like QPR, I know how big an opportunity it is for myself.
“The gaffer was definitely the most important person for me when I came to England, and obviously we are now together again which is great. On and off the pitch he’s very, very important to me. He’s helping me with literally everything.
“He’s giving me a lot of advice, not just to do with football, all of which are very important for me.”
The former PSV Eindhoven youngster, who revealed he hopes to play for Morocco’s national team, has found playing time hard to come by so far in W12, but says he will be ready to show his qualities whenever called upon by Hasselbaink.
He added: “I came here in January and I didn’t come to a small team, but a big club in England, so you have to be patient and wait for your chance.
“Of course, I always want to be out there playing as I’m not happy sitting on the bench, but you have to respect the manager’s decision.
“I am ready to show him what I can bring to the team when he picks me to start or come on as a sub.
“I want to make sure I am in the starting-line up for the first game of next season – that’s my aim.”
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