Landon Linked With Everton

It is being widely reported in the British press – everywhere from the Guardian and Telegraph to tabloids like the Sun – that Everton’s David Moises is keen on signing Landon Donovan on loan in January. The story – while being reported by the British pressmakes sense. Everton is desperate to bring in players but doesn’t have the cash to make a real splash. Donovan would fit their needs, as would a loan.

But more importantly this would make sense for Donovan. His loan last winter to Bayern Munich was seen as a flop, largely because they didn’t resign him, but I think this assessment misses the mark on a couple of levels. First, Donovan actually played pretty well and had a number of near misses in front of goal – those find the back of the net it’s a different story. Second, Klinnsman who brought in Donovan was on his way out and Donovan was Klinnsman’s boy so the people upstairs were not that keen on signing him to a long term deal. Finally, and most importantly his Munich move was NOT a flop, because it made Donovan a much better player. Coming back from his stint abroad Donovan looked sharper, more technical, more in tuned to the game. He shed his tendency to float in and out of games that winter and emerged as the true leader and captain of the US team, as well as the Galaxy.

Therefore a move to Europe should be a priority for Landon. But – and this is a really big BUT – he should only move if he is either sure that he will play or he has an escape clause as MLS roles around. That is why a loan is the preferred option and a team like Everton seems ideal. Everton is a biggish club, with a great manager and spirit. The fact that they are struggling should be a benefit to Donovan, since Moises will likely look to him right away to give Everton a boost. Additionally, playing in the Premier league will hopefully help take Donovan’s game up a slight notch, as the competition and speed of the game are at World Cup level.

But should the move not work out – it is only a LOAN. And he should negotiate the deal so that he has an out clause in March just MLS is starting. That way no matter what we have a fit and in form Donovan who has been playing prior to the World Cup.


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