The Parc des Princes has emerged as the most likely destination for the veteran midfielder, but just where could he fit into the big-spending side's XI?
By Robin Bairner | French Football Editor
David Beckham did not make his expected journey to Paris last weekend, when he was supposed to hold transfer talks with Paris Saint-Germain over a Bosman move in January. Nevertheless, the Englishman is scheduled to join up with the side from the French capital, with the local press suggesting January 2 as the date he will finally make the deal official.
Though the agreement is still not finalised, it’s increasingly inevitable that the veteran midfielder will make the Ligue 1 outfit his next, and potentially final, stop in his career.
Should les Parisiens complete the transfer coup, how could Beckham, who has already said he is interested in playing regularly as he attempts to secure a spot in the Great Britain Olympic squad for summer 2012, be used in PSG’s present set-up?
|ON THE RIGHT
Rumours have circulated in Paris over the last few days that Jeremy Menez is unhappy at the club and is ready to leave due to a clash of personalities with striker Kevin Gameiro. This is an unsubstantiated whisper, but it has led to speculation that Beckham could be used wide on the right of an offensive midfield trio.
Although not the quickest player, the crossing ability of the 36-year-old is well renowned and could be exploited to the fullest in this position. Additionally, there would only be a limited defensive strain on Beckham in a 4-2-3-1 formation, but that’s not to say he’s not capable of carrying a burden of his own.
Christophe Jallet would be best used as PSG’s right-back in this instance, as he is more energetic than Ceara, allowing him to overlap and either create space for himself in behind defences or deeper for Beckham to fire in angled centres.
He could provide nice balance to the team in this role. Nene, on the left, would supply much of the flair, with Javier Pastore the elegant guile in the centre and the measured experience of Beckham on the right.
|AS THE QUARTERBACK
Beckham may be in the twilight of his career, but he remains a wonderful passer of a ball, able to deliver accurately over long ranges, and as a result, he could be handed a role dictating the pattern of PSG’s play from a deep-lying midfield role.
There would be little worry about playing the ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid ace in that position because he boasts outstanding natural fitness, and in any case, there is only a need for PSG to start with two holding midfielders in a minority of domestic games.
Having someone who can open up play so quickly and accurately from a deep role could be invaluable for les Parisiens, who have often lacked offensive rhythm this season.
What better role for a man who has just spent most of the last five years in the USA than as a quarterback?
|AT THE HEART OF THINGS
PSG head coach – at least for the time being – Antoine Kombouare is a fan of a 4-4-2 formation, though this has rarely been deployed this season. Pastore, however, needs to be given a break at some stage, and when he is, the Kanak’s favoured system is a possibility.
Beckham, a more all-round player than the South American, could potentially be used at its heart, should a solid defensive player with a strong engine, such as Blaise Matuidi or Mohamed Sissoko be deployed alongside him. Having seen Ryan Giggs thrive in this role deep into his 30s for Manchester United, the fellow graduate from the Old Trafford side’s academy could potentially play in a similar position, as his mind is still as sharp as ever.
Les Parisiens are looking for additional striking options in January, so it is likely a new addition would play alongside Kevin Gameiro as opposed to Guillaume Hoarau, who has nevertheless looked sharp on his return from a three-month stint out with injury.
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