Where will he go? Nobody knows.
After Clint Dempsey was reportedly transfer listed by Tottenham Hotspur yesterday evening, plenty of possible destinations for the US national team captain have already cropped up.
Whether or not Dempsey is for sale, that’s another matter.
But it does seem as though a move away from White Hart Lane would help get his career in the English Premier League back on track. Deuce scored just seven EPL goals in the 2012-13 campaign, compared to 17 at Fulham the season before.
Due to injury, lack of form and squad rotation, a solid run in the Spurs team has alluded him since he arrived for $10 million last summer. Dempsey and his agent have previously refuted any claims of a summer move, but he may not have a say in this switch.
But which EPL club would suit Dempsey best? That, my friends, is the hard bit.
Tottenham weren’t the only club interested in Deuce when he left Fulham on transfer deadline day last August. Liverpool and Everton were keeping close tabs on the situation right up until the window slammed shut.
Could the two Merseyside clubs be an option now? Everton seems more likely.
With Roberto Martinez molding a new look squad and aiming to play attacking soccer, Dempsey would fit the bill as an experienced attacker who has scored more than five EPL goals in each of his last six seasons. Coupled with assists and tireless work rate, Dempsey would get on well at Goodison Park. Plus Martinez has been said to admire US players in the past after his various stints on US soccer broadcasts as a pundit. Intriguing.
Liverpool could be a non-starter. Yes they were heavily linked with a move for the US forward last year, but Brendan Rodgers and his staff are looking for young talent to supplement the experience of Steve Gerrard et al., with their transfer policy altering significantly since Dempsey was on the radar.
Where else, you ask. Well, what about Sunderland? Dempsey could team up with his pal Jozy Altidore and American owner Ellis Short would rake in the money in shirt sales and other merchandise spin offs. It’s a win-win. But would manager Paolo Di Canio take kindly to it? I’m not sure. His abrasive attitude coupled with Dempsey’s confident swagger is a ticking time bomb. If the duo clash, a move to Sunderland could be a short lived experience for Dempsey.
Has anyone considered this. After not settling at Spurs, despite demanding a move away from Fulham, should Dempsey have stayed at Craven Cottage?
What’s that old saying? Something about the grass not always being greener… well, it could ring true here. Yes, Dempsey got to play for a club with a bigger profile but did it get him Champions League soccer? No. He played in the Europe League last season but he did that with Fulham during the 2009-10 season.
I’m not saying a move back to Fulham is the answer, and heck, the move to Spurs hasn’t been a disaster. Look at how well Dempsey has performed for the USA and he’s now their shining light and set to captain the Yanks at next summer’s World Cup.
Between now and then he needs to be at a club who value his attacking impetus and use him the right way. At Spurs he’s often playing in deeper roles and hasn’t really fit in with their counter-attacking style.
Wherever Deuce lands, if he does leave Spurs, I’m sure he will be firing on all cylinders for the US at the World Cup. But having a settled season in the EPL, for a club he’s happy at, is key.
Clearly his time at Spurs is coming to an end. But where next? That’s the $10 million question.