David Beckham: Assessing Superstar's Contribution to Paris St. Germain so Far

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIFebruary 28, 2013

David Beckham has finally made his long-awaited debut for Paris St. Germain this week—starring twice for the French champions against Marseille.

The 37-year-old played in both PSG's Ligue 1 and Coupe de France fixtures, with the latter of those two earning him his first start in over three months.

And whilst Beckham hasn't set the world on fire through his first few games at PSG—unlike that of Robin van Persie at Manchester United and Mario Balotelli at AC Milan—the former England international has shown that he will be more than simply a gimmick for the club this year.

Beckham showed in just the 100 minutes of time he's spent on the pitch for PSG that he can be the holding midfielder that they need this season, and that his presence will make those around him in the team play to a higher standard of efficiency.

First game for PSG

In his first game for PSG, Beckham was introduced as a substitute with around 15 minutes to play in the match—a fixture played in the blistering snow (see video).

And whilst he was only on for 15 minutes, Beckham showed that he was solid defensively and capable of pushing forward into the space behind the attacking midfielder—as was shown in the last-minute goal that PSG netted through Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The 37-year-old threaded a beautiful through-ball over the top of the Marseille defense, which led to a cross and finish from the Swedish international.

Other than that, it was a fairly quiet affair from Beckham—though it is a little hard to judge or criticize him given the fact he was only on the field for 15 minutes.

Second game for PSG

His second game saw him earn his first starting appearance in the knockout tournament, and it saw him finish with a much more complete performance for PSG.

Beckham's passing game was superb—completing his 75 passes at an 86 percent completion rate, whilst creating a staggering five goal-scoring chances for the match. The rest of PSG combined did not combine for more key passes than the Englishman did.

He also found the mark on four of his seven crosses and six of his eight long balls—numbers which will no doubt have impressed the PSG faithful.

Defensively, Beckham chalked up just two interceptions and one tackle and picked up a yellow card for his "collision" with André Ayew. Had Ayew not responded as viciously as he did, Beckham most likely would not have received a caution from the referee.

Overall Contribution so Far

Overall, having Beckham at PSG has proved to be the right move by the French champions—from both a strategic and footballing perspective.

It has been little surprise that Beckham's arrival has given PSG their biggest crowd of the year in both competitions the two times he's played, and with marketing events for the midfielder scheduled constantly, fans are certainly getting their money's worth from him.

Yet from a football perspective as well, the 37-year-old has proven to be a shrewd signing—with those five key passes in one game proof of how deadly he will be. 

Throw in his ability to hit the mark from any dead-ball situation, and the former England international is a very significant player for PSG to have. Which, considering that he's only played just over one match so far, speaks volumes about how good he truly is.

All statistics provided via WhoScored.com

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