Manchester United great David Beckham acknowledged change is required at Old Trafford but hopes Cristiano Ronaldo will remain part of the Red Devils’ plans.
On Saturday, Ralf Rangnick’s United delivered an abject showing in a 4-0 loss at Brighton and Hove Albion, meaning the Red Devils have conceded more goals (56) than in any previous Premier League campaign.
The result represented a new low in a dire season for United, who will also set their lowest-ever Premier League points tally, sitting on 58 – six fewer than their 2013-14 mark with only one game to play.
Ajax coach Erik ten Hag will replace Rangnick at the end of the season, but the Dutchman will be tasked with a sizeable rebuilding job, with numerous players out of contract and several signings required.
Paul Pogba is reportedly a target for neighbours Manchester City when his contract expires in June.
While the future of Ronaldo remains under scrutiny as debates continue around the impact of Portugal forward.
Ronaldo has scored nine of United’s last 13 league goals across 11 matches.
He is taking his tally to a club-leading 18 in the Premier League this campaign.
However, questions persist as to the former Real Madrid man’s influence on United’s pressing. Nevertheless, Beckham wants Ronaldo to feature an integral part of Ten Hag’s plans next term.
Beckham told Sky Sports while attending the Miami Grand Prix:
“Cristiano is one of the best players over the last 15 years, with Leo [Messi].
“To see him stay on, hopefully at United, is vital 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 incredible, so hopefully, it continues for another year or two.”
Beckham, who won six Premier League titles and a Champions League at United, knows significant change is required to transform his former side into a competitive force again.
“I think there are changes to be made and changes happening. We’ve seen that.
“It’s been a brutal end to the season. But it is the end of the season. I’m sure many fans are thankful for that because it’s been a tough one – full of ups and downs.
“The players have done what they can do best, and so has the manager. I turned up at the stadium a few months back, and every seat was filled so the fans still believe, support, they turn up for the team.
“It’s what United fans do. There are not many teams to have gone through what they’ve gone through in the last few years and still be filling out their stadium. So there will be changes.”
Beckham’s former team-mate Peter Schmeichel, who made 292 league appearances for United and was a part of the famous treble-winning 1999 side, believes Ten Hag’s arrival offers the Red Devils the perfect opportunity to change.
“It’s not nice to watch,” Schmeichel said before the Formula One event. “It’s difficult to understand and precisely put the finger on what is wrong.
“We’ve been struggling since Alex [Ferguson] left the club. We’ve been spending a lot of money, and we’ve got 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 modernise the club a bit, restructure the club. So that is what I’m looking forward to.”
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