Jan Molby

Beckham’s Paris move is a huge gamble

David Beckham's decision to join Paris Saint-Germain is a massive gamble. I am really surprised he has decided to return to Europe and play at such a high level.

Beckham joins a club who play Valencia in the last-16 of the Champions League and are under extreme pressure to win the French league. There is a real danger that he will get shown up after five years away from the top level - barring a couple of short loan spells with AC Milan. The French league isn't the best in Europe but it is still a strong league, with big, strong athletes.

You can understand the allure of joining PSG - Beckham's competitive desire will never leave him - but this is a big challenge. It's a brave decision as he is too big a name to join a new club and sit on the bench for six months. He needs to be playing. If he doesn't then he will open himself up to criticism.

Beckham is 37 now and while we have seen players like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs impress - former team-mates of Beckham's at United of course - it is hard to keep performing at that age. There will be some games in the French league where he can hold his own, but probably not the bigger matches.

He can't play as a winger as he can't impact games at that level from wide positions so it will be the quarterback role that he is asked to do when he gets on the pitch, playing deep in midfield and spraying those passes around.

To be brutally honest, I don't think he can make a significant contribution to PSG's title challenge or their Champions League campaign. He has experience and character, but there are already many big personalities in that dressing room. Do they need another? They already have a global star and leader in Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He is the man at PSG.

If Beckham had gone to PSG three years ago it would have made more sense, but since the Qatari takeover they have moved on as a club. They are one of the top teams in the world and, barring 10 of the very biggest stars, could have their pick of players.

PSG could be signing 24-year-olds, proven internationals, so this seems to be bit of a strange decision. This smells like a publicity stunt. It's an odd choice in a sporting sense.

Clearly the deal will have substantial commercial ramifications for PSG - signing Beckham always does. It's a no-brainer for them as he brings with him a ready-made fan base. The financial benefits are obvious, and it's a prestigious coup for the Qatari owners, who are looking to build their global brand.

I am surprised from Beckham's commercial perspective though. I would have thought strategically the Beckhams would have picked another part of the world to expand their brand.

From Beckham's point of view this is obviously a football decision, and whatever you say about his move to LA Galaxy in 2007, that wasn't. As positive as his experiences have been in MLS, sporting considerations were trumped by other factors.

This is very much a football decision - even if it is a risky one.