With the increased speculation that David Beckham may be ending his 8 year hiatus from English football with a loan move to Tottenham Hotspur, I was left asking myself; what can Beckham offer the White Hart Lane club?
There is the obvious increase in revenue, as Beckham is still the football marketing equivalent of the Philosopher’s Stone, but is that enough to warrant a loan move to a side who perhaps should be looking to secure players who will guarantee them an extended run in this year’s Champions League, and a spot in the competition for next season?
One thing Beckham does offer is that he isn’t cup-tied, which many of the better players will be. But I still don’t believe that the 35 year-old can really offer Spurs anything too substantial on the pitch. Perhaps a few inspired substitute appearances, and some inch-perfect balls for Defoe and Crouch to latch on to will vindicate his presence in the side. I believe, however, that his presence will be most felt off the pitch rather than on it.
Although Beckham’s off the field appearance at England’s World Cup campaign in South Africa during the summer can’t be seen as an overriding success, that is not to say that his experience is not welcome/cannot be utilised by teams. Especially teams in Spurs’ position. What I believe Spurs need, to keep them pushing into the unknown in terms of European endeavour, is experience. Tottenham are a principally youthful side, and what the signings of both Rafael van der Vaart, and William Gallas have done, aside from bolster the ranks, is to give the side a balance of youth and experience, and not just any experience, experience at the highest level. This is also what Beckham can bring.
By helping the likes of Aaron Lennon, Beckham can earn his money, not just on the pitch, but off it. The emergence of Gareth Bale as a winger this season has, for me, only served to highlight Lennon’s fatal flaw; his lack of a final product. Both Bale and Lennon can strike fear into full-backs the world over, but what Bale has, once he has beaten the full-back, is the ability to deliver, more often than not. If Beckham can work with the likes of Lennon, and get both of Spurs’ flanks operating to the level that Bale has the left working to, then Beckham could be worth every penny, without even setting foot on to the White Hart Lane pitch.