Landon Donovan is eligible to play on Wednesday for the encounter between Everton and Bolton at Goodison Park.
Whether he’ll have a large part to play in that match will be up to David Moyes (and also depending on Donovan’s fitness levels). But I would be very surprised if he doesn’t see some playing time on Wednesday night.
Nevertheless, Donovan will undoubtedly be in the action as much as possible for the two months of his loan to help Everton move up the Premier League table.
But will Landon Donovan be able to play as well as he did the last time when he played in England for Everton? A lot has changed since then. Tim Cahill is nowhere near the form he was during the 2009-10 season. Mikel Arteta is no longer at the club. The same applies to Yakubu and Steven Pienaar. There are also question marks about Donovan, who hasn’t been as influential at LA Galaxy in terms of assists during the 2011 season.
Importantly, Donovan will have a tougher time adjusting to playing in the Premier League this time. Not because of him, but because of his opponents who will be more aware of the threat that he poses and will possibly mark him closer than before. That may open up more room for Royston Drenthe, who has been a breath of fresh air for the Toffees.
Everton currently sit in tenth position in the Premier League. Some of the fixtures that Donovan will be involved in will be against teams such as Tottenham (away), Manchester City (home), Chelsea (home) and Liverpool (away), so the American international will definitely be tested to his limits.
But what do you think? Will Donovan be able to exceed the two goals he scored in the 13 games he played for Everton during January-March, 2010? Post your opinions in the comments section below.
Lastly, here’s what Donovan said after his loan deal ended the last time he was playing for Everton:
“I’m 28 years old now and I’ve played over 100 times for my country, I’ve also played a lot of league games in different parts of the world. But I’ve never met a fan base like this, either playing for them or as an away player. Forget about football for a moment, this is a life experience I’ll never forget.”
One thing can be sure about Donovan. Expect Everton supporters to open their arms to him, and don’t be surprised to hear several “USA, USA” chants from the blues. Whatever happens to Donovan, it’ll be a joy to watch.