David Beckham is set for talks with French second division club Monaco, the former Champions League finalists. There has been a lot of debate over Beckham’s next move and it looks as though he’s heading for France but at 37-years-old, is he still good enough to compete in Europe?
The biggest change across many European leagues is that the pace of the game is much faster. Monaco are in a very competitive league against sides like Nantes, Caen and Lens. The club are top of the league at the moment so they will expect the very best from the former Manchester United and Real Madrid wide man from the moment he walks in through the door.
There is no doubt that Beckham could still do a job for Monaco but his profile suggests that he will be thrown into the team playing a role both on and off the pitch. The longevity of similarly aged players; Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs for example, has been enabled because they have been playing at a constant level of football, handled in the right way, for a prolonged period of time.
Beckham fans won’t want to see him struggling to play in a league which isn’t even the best in France. It’s also important to note that if he does join Monaco, he will arrive at the club under prepared because and lacking fitness because his last game with LA Galaxy is this weekend. If they throw him in at the deep end, literally as soon s he turns up, then the result could be embarrassing in terms of fitness and sharpness and this is not something that any of us want to see.
Major League Soccer is in a much better place than when Beckham first went to the United States at the age of 31-years-old. However, the state of American football still has a long way to go to be anything like the level that most European teams are currently playing at.
In the same way that he could struggle physically, Monaco are not a naïve or inexperienced club. They can build a team around him which will enable Beckham to prolong his career with younger, fitter and faster players doing more of the leg work. The problem is that Beckham has always been a proactive sort of player and may not enjoy this aspect of a European move.
A better move could still be on the cards for Beckham. Clubs from different areas of the world such as China and Australia are still very interested in signing him and the demands would be reduced compared to him coming back into the European game.
China would be a good move financially as would Australia but whatever he decides, he needs to be quite careful because the eyes of the world will be watching his every move.