Beckham’s value is his values
Harry Redknapp does not need a right-sided midfield player and, with the depth of talent regularly available on his bench, he hardly needs to bolster his squad with a three-month loan signing.
Yet he, and several other Premier League managers, are trying to secure the services of 35-year-old David Beckham.
Many observers are scratching their heads and wondering just what is the enduring appeal of a player clearly several years past his peak.
They point to the unavoidable media frenzy that will come as part of any loan deal arranged with LA Galaxy, if the American club agree to let their number one asset go again after he suffered a serious injury on his last sojourn, to AC Milan last year.
Yet Redknapp, who has seen football from all sides, knows the value — or more to the point — values, Beckham brings.
Having served his apprenticeship with West Ham in the penny-pinching 1960s and now overseeing players earning millions of pounds a year, Redknapp recognises that the professionalism and dedication to his art that Beckham shows could help turn some of his “nearly men” into the finished article.
“I am a great fan of his,” Redknapp said.
“He would be great to have around the place. As a player, as a person and as a professional he is top class. He’d be a great role model for the young players.”
If Beckham could teach Aaron Lennon to be half as good a crosser of the ball as he was in his pomp then that alone would be worth Tottenham’s investment.
Lennon’s blinding pace currently takes him to the byline at will but all too often he then fails to deliver.
Hours on the training ground with one of the best crossers and dead-ball merchants the game has seen can only benefit the young winger.
Similarly, time spent with Beckham working on his fitness might have some sort of positive rub-off on the likes of David Bentley.
Redknapp said on Tuesday that he was prepared to let the talented but inconsistent Bentley, another right midfielder, leave the club on loan.
“David is a lad who finds it hard to motivate himself sometimes when he is out of the side,” is not a description anyone would ever use of Beckham.
Newcastle United, West Ham United and Blackburn Rovers have all also shown an interest in taking Beckham for a few months, though in Blackburn’s case the motive might be slightly different.
Having said they are also interested in tempting Ronaldinho from the beaches of Rio to the terraced backstreets of Lancashire, Blackburn’s new owners look more interested in basking in the glory of a showboat signing than helping develop some of the unfinished products in their squad.
PHOTO: Los Angeles Galaxy’s David Beckham applauds after they defeated Seattle Sounders in Game 2 of their MLS Western Conference Semifinal soccer match in Carson, California, November 7, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson