"Tottenham Hotspur are going to sign David Beckham". I keep seeing these rumors popping up in various publications, on blogs, and even in the comments of this very site. First, I want to say that I'm disappointed in the lot of you for allowing such a thing to happen. Second, I want to say that there is not way in hell this is happening, no matter what Harry Redknapp wants.
David Beckham is 36 years old. Since 2007 he has been plying his trade in the MLS, with loans to Milan in 2009 and 2010. Beckham began his career as a right midfielder and rose to prominence playing that position for Manchester United. For the Los Angeles Galaxy, Beckham's MLS team, he primarily plays in central midfield, sitting deep and spraying passes all over the park.
Beckham is having an excellent season in the MLS. He leads the league with 15 assists and the Galaxy are on pace to have the second best regular season in MLS history. His set pieces are still excellent and despite the perception, he's not afraid to put in a tackle. He may not be too good of a tackler though because he's tied for the league lead in yellow cards.
That said, Beckham is not capable of playing in the Premier League any more. If you're frustrated by Rafael Van der Vaart being a 60 minute man imagine being frustrated by Beckham being essentially the same thing. Look at some of his compatriots from Manchester United. Gary Neville and Paul Scholes are retired and Ryan Giggs (who is a freak of nature) is basically a substitute for Manchester United. The difference is that Beckham hasn't played in the Premier League in four years.
The MLS is a substandard league. Need proof? Robbie Keane has already scored two goals. Yes, Beckham went and played in Serie A, which is a top league, but we all know that the pace of play in the Italian game is glacially slow in comparison to the English game. There's simply no way that Becks can keep up on the wings in the EPL and I don't know if he's savvy enough to succeed playing in the center of the park for a Premier League side.Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has a well-documented affinity for older players with lots of experience. He brought Beckham in to train with the club for a month or so last year. There was lots of things in the papers about him mentoring the players, improving Aaron Lennon's crossing and helping out with our set piece woes simply by being around. In case no one has noticed, Azza still can't cross and we still can't score from set pieces. Sounds like Becks made a huge difference.
As I've said, Beckham lacks the pace and athleticism to keep up in the Premier League. He would be little more than an substitute for a club like Tottenham and that's a luxury we cannot afford. Perhaps he could play in the center of the park if we didn't already have both Luka Modric and Tom Huddlestone who are both capable of making some incredible passes from deep positions. Would Becks score a few free kicks? Probably, but how many goals would we give up because he doesn't track back on the wings or isn't tactically aware in the middle?
Aside from Beckham's obvious physical deficiencies are the business aspects of this deal. Beckham would be available on a free transfer from Los Angeles so a transfer fee isn't going to be an issue. What will be an issue is his wages. Beckham earns $6.5 million per year with LA, which translates to roughly £80,000 per week. Tottenham have a pretty strict wage structure and breaking it for a player who is rarely going to play a full game and is nearing retirement doesn't seem like something chairman Daniel Levy would be willing to do.
This brings me to my final point. Daniel Levy is not about buying old players, no matter what Harry Redknapp wants. Daniel Levy wants a return on his investment. I think that is especially true if you look at a majority of our transfer dealing from the last two seasons. The signings of players like Yago Falque, Soulemayne Coulibaly, Cristian Ceballos, and Sandro seem to indicate a shift in the approach of the club. Yes, Rafael Van der Vaart, Steven Pienaar, and Scott Parker were also purchased, but all three of those players came in on the cheap and their wages are certainly not as high as Beckham's would be. Levy wants younger players that the club can develop or, at the very least, turn a profit on in a few years.
I'm willing to admit that I'm highly biased. I cannot stand David Beckham. I've never though much about his ability as a footballer. As a set piece taker and as a crosser of the ball there aren't many better than him, but in all other aspects of the game he's average at best. He can't be an impact player in the Premier League and he's not an elite player anymore. He's not a player who is going to help Spurs to the Champions League or help keep them there. Probably the only thing he would be able to help the club do is sell more shirts. So, can we please all forget this nonsense and start thinking about players that might actually help the club?