Club Focus – Tottenham – Beckham denied Spurs friendly start in insurance dispute

David Beckham’s bid to play for Tottenham Hotspur in one form or another hit another frustrating snag, which has left the club wondering whether the LA Galaxy winger will ever make it off of the training pitch and into Spurs’ title-chasing team.

The 35-year-old midfielder was denied the chance to play in a behind-closed-doors friendly against local rivals and current Championship leaders Queens Park Rangers. The former Manchester United man was due to make an appearance in a Spurs shirt with the aim of securing a short-term deal with the North London club until the start of the new MLS season on 15 March.

However, Beckham was refused permission to play following revelations that his insurance policy would not allow him to compete despite manager Harry Redknapp previously stating that Beckham was granted permission to train with the club, as well as play in friendly matches during his time at White Hart Lane. Redknapp told The Guardian last Friday: “He can just join in and train properly.”

It seems as though Galaxy are still hurting from last season after seeing their star man rupture his achilles tendon for AC Milan against Chievo in his second loan spell for the Italian giants last March. This injury effectively ruled Beckham out of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, and caused him to miss matches in the MLS season. Therefore, it is understandable why the American club would have concerns over their most prized asset, and it could be argued that despite the country’s desire to see Beckham make a return to the Premier League, Galaxy are keen to keep the highly-paid midfielder fit and injury-free in what is expected to be Beckham’s last season as an LA Galaxy player.

It hasn’t gone unnoticed that Beckham has only played 57 games for Galaxy in an injury-plagued spell in the States, compared to the 55 played for both Milan and England during the same period; Galaxy may be questioning Beckham’s loyalty and may yet even contemplate allowing the Englishman to remain in London until the beginning of March, instead of the original return date of mid-February.

Spurs would be keen to conjure up a deal until March to add a new dimension to their ever-growing midfield (Peter Crouch would surely be happy with the addition of a delivery specialist), but as the days pass, the possibility of Beckham becoming a Spurs player is becoming increasingly unlikely. In any eventuality, the club itself would probably not see the benefit of signing an unfit player for just a few weeks, although Redknapp clearly values the experience that Beckham could give to a young side aiming to negotiate the tricky knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time.

For fans eager to see Manchester United’s former No. 7 back in the league where he built his career, the return of ‘Becks’ seems like a fading dream – but with Redknapp a keen admirer of Beckham, Spurs will no doubt be eager to use him in whatever capacity they can in his remaining time in the capital.

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