David de Gea has told any Manchester United players who want to leave to “simply go,” and he and his colleagues must be ready to battle next season under Erik ten Hag.
The Old Trafford club ended a poor season with a 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace, but sixth place and Europa League football were assured after West Ham also lost on the last day to Brighton.
Ralf Rangnick’s interim tenure comes to an end with the Selhurst Park defeat, with ten Hag taking over as permanent manager for the coming season.
Manchester United ended thirteen points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and 35 points behind Premier League champions Manchester City.
After a 12th league defeat of the season, De Gea stated that he was more than ready to move on from a difficult season, saying that the club must focus on a turnaround under ten Hag with a dedicated core of players.
“It’s the same feeling,” de Gea reflected after defeat to MUTV. “The level we have shown in the last three or four months isn’t enough to win a Premier League match, we were sloppy, we lost some easy balls around our box, it’s impossible to win the games.
“I just want to be positive, to forget about this season. The new manager [Erik ten Hag] was in the stands, so that’s a good signal. I hope things will get better for next season – that’s the past already. We all know it’s been a bad season, for everyone.
“The people who don’t want to stay, just go, and the people who really want to stay at the club, who want to fight for the club, let’s have a good rest in the summer, prepare ourselves in the mind and in the body and be ready to fight again next season.”
Six Manchester United players have contracts expiring this summer, with Nemanja Matic and Edinson Cavani certain to depart.
Also anticipated to go on a free transfer are Paul Pogba, Lee Grant, Jesse Lingard, and Juan Mata.
Former England manager Steve McClaren has returned to Old Trafford to assist ten Hag for the second time after previously working under Sir Alex Ferguson.