Whoever had Nov. 29 in the pool, it’s time to collect. That’s the day the annual Landon Donovan-to-Everton rumor was revived, with the U.S. international now “officially” linked with a third loan move to the Liverpool-based club.
The Express was the English outlet that flinched first, reporting today that Everton boss Roberto Martínez is chasing both Donovan and Spartak Moscow midfielder Aiden McGeady. If Donovan were to move in January, he’d be available for nine Premier League matches as well a many FA Cup matches Everton’s draw into in that time. Should be arrive, the U.S.’s all-time leading scorer would provide another option out wide, where Martínez has started Kevin Mirallas and Steven Pienaar four games in a row in his 4-2-3-1 formation.
Of course, Donovan’s not the only U.S. international linked with a move to Everton. Just yesterday we heard rumblings of Clint Dempsey’s potential Merseyside sojourn. It’s certainly possible Everton’s talking to both, but it’s also possible a U.S.-friendly club is the destination of choice for tabloids trying to link popular Americans with Premier League homes.
Donovan’s link obviously makes sense, though, even if the manager the spoke so highly of him during the Galaxy star’s previous loans has since moved on to Manchester United. Though David Moyes is gone, the 31-year-old has previously spoken about his affinity for the club, claiming the Toffees as the one English club he’d consider playing for. While last season’s contract extension with the LA Galaxy seems to preclude the possibility of a permanent move, a short-term, World Cup-year reunion with fellow U.S. international Tim Howard could find Donovan back in blue.
Over two previous loan spells with Everton (2010, 2012), Donovan played a total of 17 league games, scoring twice during his 2010 stint. His performance helped silence criticism of his previous European performances, with some previously citing failed spells with Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich as criticism of Donovan’s club career.
Thanks to his previous performances with Everton, those days are ancient history. If he returns to England, Donovan will be doing so trying to prepare for the World Cup while helping his second club return to Europe. There’s no longer a need for Donovan to prove himself.