Posted on December 22, 2008
AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti insists David Beckham will come into contention for a starting berth when his side face Roma on January 11.
Beckham watched as his new club demolished Udinese 5-1 on Sunday to move into third position in Serie A with a stylish performance at the San Siro.
The England international officially becomes a Milan player on January 7 and, four days later, he could make his debut in the Italian capital.
“Certainly there is a place for him because he is a great player,” Ancelotti said.
“He is very well-prepared tactically and he can give a contribution to this team.
“He is in good condition and if he is one of the 11 names on the team sheet, then it is because he deserves to be there.
“I met with him this morning and he has been welcomed very well. We are all delighted to have him here.
“We are all happy because what we have got is a great professional.”
Compared to yesterday’s media presentation, the arrival of Beckham on the field at the San Siro prior to kick-off was a rather low-key affair.
The England international walked to the centre of the field to mutter the words Forza Milan to a half-empty stadium.
His arrival in January is expected to boost ticket sales for at least two months in a league which, despite the arrivals of Ronaldinho and Jose Mourinho, appears to be losing its appeal.
If tonight’s finale to the calendar year is a sign of things to come, it won’t be just the arrival of Beckham which will have the crowds flocking back in the new year.
“Everything went well for us today,” admitted Ancelotti, who still expects more from his side in 2009.
“I think it is fundamental to have a break now and the work we do in the break will allow us to gain more energy and get some players back into a good condition.
“The break will allow us to make a leap forward in terms of quality.”