By Nick Ware

21st Dec, 2020 | 5:05pm

'Big, big, big thing' – Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink makes Leeds transfer claim after 6-2 loss

Ex-Leeds United star Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink has told Sky Sports that the club needs to keep recruiting to reach the ‘next step’, after their humbling 6-2 defeat to bitter rivals Manchester United on Sunday.

Without the injured duo of Robin Koch and Diego Llorente, the threadbare nature of the Leeds squad was laid for all to see as Scott McTominay surged through the centre of midfield twice to score a double in the opening three minutes of the game at Old Trafford.

Marcelo Bielsa made two changes at half time, bringing on a couple of 21-year-olds in the shape of Pascal Struijk and Jamie Shackleton, as the visitors struggled to keep their hosts at bay after their midweek exertions against Newcastle United.

Sitting alongside former Manchester United captain Roy Keane in the studio, Hasselbaink told Sky Sports that Leeds must reinvest in new recruits to keep progressing: “I think the top six, you know, are a few years away.”

“Recruitment is going to be vital, to the next step. They have invested this year, it will be important to invest next year again to make your squad stronger, so that these kinds of mistakes you make today, are fewer, are less.

“People know now what you are about so you need to, maybe, as Roy said, tweak one or two things here, and get better.

“Recruitment is going to be a big, big, big thing.”

Bouncing back

With three losses in their last four games, Leeds will be bidding to bounce back against Burnley on December 27.

However, they might be without the services of their captain Liam Cooper, who hobbled off in the second half against Manchester United.

Cooper was replaced by Leif Davis, and another injury to a central defender is likely to force another reshuffle in the Leeds backline.

With the injuries to Cooper, Koch and Llorente, Bielsa could partner Luke Ayling with Struijk, who started the first game of the season at the heart of the defence against Liverpool.

That will scare a lot of Leeds fans who might think that recruitment sooner rather that later is necessary.

In other Leeds news, ‘Flying’ – Troy Deeney claims Leeds defender played ‘unbelievably well’ despite conceding six.