Manchester United legend David Beckham has opened up on his admiration for Erik ten Hag with the Red Devils boss a ‘breath of fresh air’ at the Premier League giants.

The feeling around Manchester United now, compared to 12 months ago when the former Ajax boss was still getting himself comfortable in the Old Trafford hotseat, is almost night and day.

So much so that, with a couple of clever, potentially inspired signings already in place and a much-needed centre-forward to come in the shape of Rasmus Hojlund, belief is growing that United may be aiming slightly higher than merely a top-four finish in 2022/23.

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Erik Ten Hag deserves much of the credit for a dramatic change in atmosphere too; instilling a clear, coherent plan on and off the pitch while taking the sort of ‘tough decisions’ lesser coaches would shy away from, David de Gea following fellow United legend Cristiano Ronaldo out the door.

Erik ten Hag a ‘breath of fresh air’ at Manchester United

“It hasn’t been the greatest of times for Manchester United, on the field or off the field,” Beckham, a treble winner under Sir Alex Ferguson in 1999, tells The Athletic.

“Seeing Erik come in is a breath of fresh air. He has had some tough decisions to make but he has done it in the most elegant way, and in a way where he has got the fans on his side.”

United’s pre-season performances have only increased the sense of quiet confidence around the camp, with even Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid in Houston bringing up more positives than negatives.

What’s more, with Hojlund pulling up trees to secure a dream move to Old Trafford – despite the advances of Paris Saint-Germain – it’s clear that Ten Hag was right when he said at the start of the summer that ‘top players want to come’ to Manchester United, the club’s pulling power still intact despite years of underachievement.

Pulling power remains

“We (United) were the top of the tree, we were winning everything, the ones who were successful, the ones where the players wanted to come,” Beckham adds.

“Luckily, we still have that Manchester United pull that existed when I went there.”