Sport Soccer

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Beckham’s move to PSG is great for French football, says Deschamps

FRANCE boss Didier Deschamps believes David Beckham's arrival at Paris St Germain will provide a welcome boost for the profile of Ligue 1.

But Deschamps admits he has concerns about the overall state of the French top division after January saw a decampment of leading talent to other countries, largely to England's Barclays Premier League.

Newcastle have bought up an abundance of talent from across the Channel. This month alone they have brought in Mathieu Debuchy from Lille, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa from Montpellier, Yoan Gouffran from Bordeaux, Massadio Haidara from Nancy and Moussa Sissoko from Toulouse.

The talent drain is partly offset by the signing of former England captain Beckham, who while not at the peak of his career at least guarantees attention given his profile as a global sporting celebrity.

Deschamps, announcing his squad today for France's friendly against Germany next Wednesday, said of 37-year-old Beckham's move to wealthy PSG: "In the sense of it helping the exposure of Ligue 1 it's a very good thing.

"He's a personality who goes beyond football, like Zlatan Ibrahimovic maybe.

"They are players who beyond our frontiers give an important visibility to Ligue 1.

"But I won't judge it on a sporting perspective. I'm not the coach, general manager or owner of Paris St Germain. They've made their choice with David Beckham. He's a world football personality."

Deschamps named nine English-based players in his 23-man France squad today.

The former Nantes, Marseille and Bordeaux player, who went on to play in Italy for Juventus, in England with Chelsea and in Spain with Valencia, said of the recent flurry of departures: "It worries me for Ligue 1 obviously, because it's not a good thing to lose good players or international players.

"But there is economic reality. Apart from PSG, all the French clubs need to sell players.

"The buying clubs are generally the English clubs."

Deschamps has few concerns about calling foreign-based players into his squad, but he suspects some are taking a gamble.

He said: "I'm not worried, I leave it to their choice.

"They change country, culture, language. As long as they play enough time and play well enough. It's not ideal in the career of a footballer to change club in mid-season. They are taking risks maybe."

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