David Beckham says he would welcome change at Manchester United ahead of the 2022/23 campaign, but hopes Cristiano Ronaldo will remain part of the club’s plans going forward.
Speaking to Sky Sports at the Miami Grand Prix, the former United midfielder shared his views on the successor of his famous No 7 shirt at United, saying fans want the 37-year-old to see out his contract, which expires in 2023.
He also spoke of this season’s struggles under interim head coach Ralf Rangnick, who will be replaced by Ajax boss Erik ten Hag this summer, explaining how he believes fans will be “thankful” the current season reaches its conclusion in two weeks’ time.
“I think there are changes to be made and changes that are happening, we’ve seen that,” Beckham said.
“It’s been a tough end to the season. But it is the end of the season, I’m sure a lot of the fans are thankful of that because it’s been a tough one – full of ups and downs.
“The players have done what they can do best, so has the manager. I turned up at the stadium a few months back and every seat was filled so the fans still believe, they support, they turn up for the team.
“It’s what United fans do. There’s not many teams to have gone through what they’ve gone through in the last few years and still filling out their stadium. There will be changes.”
On the future of Ronaldo, he added: “Obviously Cristiano is one of the best players over the last 15 years, with Leo [Messi]. To see him stay on, hopefully at United, is important for the fans.
“It’s important to him – we all know how much Man United means to him. He’s still doing what he does best, scoring goals. That’s what Cristiano does.
“To be doing what he’s doing at his age is really incredible, so hopefully it continues for another year or two.”
Schmeichel: Ten Hag represents opportunity for change
Former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel believes the appointment of Ten Hag is the perfect opportunity for wholesale change at Old Trafford, following a particularly substandard season which has left United languishing in sixth in the Premier League.
“It’s not nice to watch,” Schmeichel said. “It’s difficult to understand but also put a finger on exactly what is wrong.
“We’ve been struggling since Alex [Ferguson] left the club. We’ve been spending a lot of money and we’ve gotten somewhere, but not far enough.
“With Erik ten Hag coming in now, it is an opportunity for change and I think this is what we want – maybe modernize the club a bit, restructure the club. That is what I’m looking forward to.”