David Beckham: Signing Veteran Star Would Be Big Mistake for West Ham

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIJanuary 7, 2013

CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 01:  David Beckham #23 of Los Angeles Galaxy looks on while taking on the Houston Dynamo in the 2012 MLS Cup at The Home Depot Center on December 1, 2012 in Carson, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

One of the most interesting rumors flying about is the possible return of David Beckham. And the team at the heart of these rumors: West Ham United.

For years, Beckham was the face of English football, but has been riding out the last six years of his career with the L.A. Galaxy.

At first glance, just hearing Beckham's name is tantalizing. He's a well-known player with a great work ethic. He's also been prolific at putting the ball where it needs to be and opening up scoring opportunities.

Even so, this kind of move just doesn't make sense for West Ham.

Beckham is 37 years old and hasn't played in a European-based league since 2009-10. In that last stint he played in 11 games for Milan, scoring zero goals.

Beckham enjoyed a burst of life in 2012, scoring seven goals in 24 games for the Galaxy. But the MLS level of competition isn't very comparable to the Premier League.

It's also worth noting that West Ham doesn't exactly have a need for midfielders. The Hammers have sufficient depth at the position, including current leading scorer Kevin Nolan.

The only way this move makes sense is because of the veteran leadership Beckham can bring to West Ham. He's got age, but he still challenges himself and could be a great teacher.

But that's only worth it if it outweighs the cons, which it very well may not.

Besides age, besides the spotlight—aka the distraction of the spotlight—a major name like Beckham brings, there remains the issue of the fans.

Beckham spent the majority of his career with Manchester United. The fans of West Ham were never huge fans of his. Would he really be welcomed with open arms?

Most likely not.

So while David Beckham's name continues to carry his legacy, at 37 he's far from the player he's used to be. There's just too much baggage for a deal like this to make sense.

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