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Where Would Landon Donovan Fit in England for a Loan Spell?

Jan 09, 2010 - London, England, UK - Premier League: Arsenal 2 v 2 Everton.Arsenal's ABOU DIABY and LANDON DONOVAN of Everton.

The question of whether Landon Donovan will go back to the EPL this transfer window is still up in the air. The talk of Donovan being linked to going back to Everton or heading to Fulham or Newcastle is purely rumor and speculation. Fact: No team has verbally expressed confirming interest in the American.

This year, the Galaxy midfielder played football for a total of 11 months: Over two months in Everton and the rest with the Los Angeles Galaxy and the United States National Team in South Africa for the World Cup. After the Galaxy’s early elimination from the MLS playoffs, a broken down, defeated Donovan commented he was tired and had no idea on what EPL team he would play for, or if he would even go on a loan stint.

But if Donovan recuperated and was to ship out for a loan stint, what team would he go to?

Out of the rumored clubs showing interest, only two are ideal and attractive for Donovan; Everton and Fulham. Last year, the American had an impressive 10 weeks at Goodison Park, knocking in two goals and scoring in an impressive win over Chelsea.

After his return to the States, Donovan commented on his Facebook account that he would only play for three teams: the Galaxy, U.S. National Team, and Everton. But months later he deleted it. Donovan fit in perfectly with the Toffees, and the icing on the cake was having fellow American and goalkeeper Tim Howard on the squad.

Everton is an ideal place for the midfielder especially with the comfort level there, but Fulham may be a bit more attractive and beneficial for the face of American soccer because of one guy: Clint Dempsey.

The only times Donovan and Deuce are on the pitch at the same time are for practices and games when they’re representing their country. Any other time, it’s chatting by email.

A stint at Craven Cottage and playing alongside Dempsey would be: (1) fun playing football with his American brother-in-arms. And (2) to develop, adjust, and perfect tactical understandings of one another that could transfer onto the pitch when playing for the U.S. Mens National Team.

Some could argue the United States did well in the World Cup because they passed through the group stage. But they went down early in the game, and were plagued with sloppy passing. Fortunately for the Yanks, they were a clutch squad.

Deuce and LD pairing up this early could give the USMNT a little extra boost for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup in June 2011.

Truth be told, any team would benefit from having Donovan on their roster. But ultimately, it’s Donovan’s choice, and if he was going to ship out for 10 weeks, Fulham would be the smartest move.

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  1. CrazyMike

    December 19, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Landon would fit well into any team that needs a pacy, hard working, technical winger of better quality than they have now, so he could play for pretty much anyone except Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, United, City and Tottenham (depending on how you rate Aaron Lennon).

    Donovan tends to play better where he’s comfortable, with friends, wanted by the manager, and clearly first choice (see: his MLS career vs. Leverkusen; Everton loan vs. Bayern Munich loan) so someplace with another American on staff and not in a high pressure relegation battle is crucial (sorry Toffees, but that means you).

    I’d like to see him at Fulham. He’d be with my favorite player and fellow American, Clint Dempsey, and playing under Mark Hughes, a guy who has said he is very keen on having him there, on a Fulham team that are flying high on route to what will likely be their best ever finish. And Donovan’s better than Gera or Davies.

    With Lee Chung-Yong soon to depart from Bolton for the Asian Cup, Donovan could find a highly desirable situation at Bolton too.

    And while it would kill me as a Galaxy supporter to see him go permanently, seeing him move to the EPL and be successful would be outstanding.

    • what

      December 20, 2010 at 2:31 am

      Fulham are barely above the relegation zone, and by barely I mean they are tied with Wigan at 16 points.

    • Dave C

      December 20, 2010 at 2:38 pm

      … a Fulham team that are flying high on route to what will likely be their best ever finish.
      Err…you must have not looked at the league table in the last couple of years.

  2. Evertonian

    December 19, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    No doubt, Everton! There is not even a question. But how fast would he be match fit? And for 10million quid, LD could be signed by my beloved Toffees, that was the rumor of the price MLS/LA wanted for him. We need cover for Tim Cahill when he leaves for National Duty with the Soccer Roos and I am hoping LD will make his mind up soon.
    Nil Satis Nisi OPTIMUM!!!!!!!

  3. DGS

    December 19, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Does it have to be just a loan spell? 🙁

    (Yes, I realize Everton and Fulham don’t have the funds for a transfer and the clubs that do aren’t interested.)

    • jeneria

      December 19, 2010 at 11:41 am

      The Galaxy and MLS would never let him move permanently. He’s the face of soccer in the US and there’s no way he could finagle a permanent move.

      • Bert Patenaude

        December 19, 2010 at 12:39 pm

        Yeah Donovan could force his way out if he wants. If MLS and LA Galaxy held out for a ridiculous price in a situation where Donovan asks out, it would blow up in their face big time. The US sports media would absolutely destroy MLS if it prevents the face of American soccer from playing in a high-quality league.

  4. jose

    December 19, 2010 at 11:30 am

    manchester united, playing on the right or the left opposite nani. unless you think park is better then him.

    • Gazza

      December 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm

      I seriously doubt they would be interested in him. I dont think he would get much time at any of the top four clubs.

      • tnnelson

        December 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm

        gonna have to disagree with you gazza. i think donovan would fit in quite well at united (as would stuart holden, but that’s another story) or arsenal especially. he has a tremendous work ethic and always impresses his managers. he is pure class if you ask me and could get into the squad for any of the top teams right now. i could see him giving liverpool a huge boost right now, though they are not a top side right now in the slightest

  5. Bert Patenaude

    December 19, 2010 at 11:04 am

    This rest excuse is such BS. Donovan played 10.5 months this year, the same as any other American player in a top league like Dempsey or Altidore.

    Donovan needs to leave the LA Galaxy for 3-4 years and actually fulfill his potential against top-quality opposition. Replacing Pienaar at Everton would probably make the most sense. Then return to MLS after WC 2014.

    Donovan playing against the best in the world would do far more for the growth of American soccer than a leisurely career in MLS.

    • Joe

      December 19, 2010 at 12:27 pm

      In terms of your comparisons to Dempsey and Altidore:
      1) Dempsey had 6 weeks off between the World Cup and the start of EPL season. Donovan was back to playing full-time by July 4th.
      2) Altidore almost never sees the field for Villareal. His “rest” is pretty much the entire season.

  6. A Toffee

    December 19, 2010 at 10:53 am

    What utter nonsense this column is! Firstly, as someone has stated, LD9 did not score against Chelski. You would be well-advised to check ‘facts’ before stating them. Secondly, to suggest that he would go to Fulham just because he has a mate who plays there is completely ludicrous! He has a mate at Goodison too – in the form of Tim Howard – so if that were a basis for his choice it doesn’t really give Fulham an advantage. LD9 became a true-blue when he spent that few months on loan on Merseyside, as he has tweeted and Facebook updated on numerous occasion. So for those reasons, you would have to say Everton is the only team he’d choose to return to, if he does indeed decide he wants to return to England this winter at all.

    • Dave C

      December 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm

      Once a blue always a blue, eh?

  7. Bishopville Red

    December 19, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I don’t want to dump of Donovan, but here’s something that needs to be considered:

    Last year, Donovan hopped in mid season and made a dent. Not too many people connected the dots that he had just come off an extended rest and looked much more fresh than mid-season EPL players. He also left before the “dog days” could catch up with him. He played well but in my opinion his rested state gave him an advantage.

    This year, he’s the one feeling the dog more than most. EPL season rolled into MLS, rolled into World Cup, rolled into MLS again, he’s feeling the burn more than most, and I don’t think he’s really had enough rest time to make up for it (especially if he’s all but match fit).

    So, in a nutshell, I think if he were to go out on loan, he’ll only damage his reputation this year. Rest is his best option.


  8. brian c

    December 19, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Moyes has repeated said he’d welcome Landon back if he was up to it and still talks to him on occasion about it. Landon hasn’t committed yet.

    I think, personally, he should reach for the stars and if it’s not Everton or Fulham but Chelsea or Arsenal for some real Champions League experience. Everyone knows how anemic Chelsea’s midfield has been this season since Lampard is out and Landon could be a good, quick fix for them to shore up their midfield.

    Fulham would be fun to watch since Dempsey is proving himself to be one of the most dynamic midfielders in England if not the world. He’s really stepped up after Bobby Zamora’s injury and taken control of the Fulham offence. Bringing Landon in can only help them.

    I may get some heat for this one but I think the US has one of the best midfields in the world. Landon, Dempsey and Holden are having (or had) fantastic years. They talk about the US dominance in goalkeepers but now with US mids swarming over to England, the conversation should change.

    • Dave C

      December 20, 2010 at 2:32 pm

      I may get some heat for this one but I think the US has one of the best midfields in the world. Yeah you’d deserve some heat for that. It’s insane!

      US mids swarming over to England Two American midfielders (and possibly one more) playing for middling EPL teams hardly constitutes a swarm.

  9. Adam

    December 19, 2010 at 10:17 am

    1. Everton
    2. Newcastle
    3. Fulham

  10. BillyTits

    December 19, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Donovan didn’t score in Everton’s win over chelsea.

    If he returns, I can only see it being with Everton.

  11. NickC

    December 19, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Yeah, it’s quite clear that Everton have expressed an interest on countless occasions and Donovan has reciprocated with his constant tweets about Everton.

    This is a complete non story. He has one decision, to come back or rest. If he comes back, he’ll only come back to Everton. It really makes so little sense to go to Fulham based on one player because the on pitch interactions will be far too few to have an effect.

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