Clint Dempsey's Stateside move to the Seattle Sounders during the summer caused some surprise around the Premier League, with the United States international opting to move from England's top flight to play MLS this season.
As reported by Darren Witcoop of Mirror Football, however, there is a good chance he will be heading back to the Premier League on a loan spell in January, with the possibility to return for two months part of his contract with Seattle.
It is the latter club, though, who could perhaps benefit most from Dempsey's arrival.
Everton's Squad and Finances
While Spurs might be the obvious choice because of Dempsey's status in their squad last season, the team have moved on with a host of new attacking signings, regardless of them not quite gelling yet.
Everton are in somewhat of a rebuild season with Roberto Martinez in charge—yet are performing well in the league, have shown plenty of games with an intent to attack and have a number of young attackers who they are relying on to perform well and consistently.
Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley are regular starters, while Gerard Deulofeu has been used mainly as a late substitute.
While there is no doubting they have performed well so far, there will come a time when more experienced players will have to make an impact in place of the younger lads, who will inevitably suffer a dip in form, and having someone like Dempsey to bring in alongside Kevin Mirallas, Steven Pienaar or Leon Osman would aid Everton immensely.
There is also the possibility that the Goodison Park club will not have unlimited funds to spend once more, making a loan spell for a proven Premier League player an attractive possibility.
Goals from Second Line of Attack
With Arouna Kone injured long-term and Nikica Jelavic doing a passable impression of Iain Dowie in his playing days over the past 18 months, Everton will certainly need to find more regular scorers as the season goes on.
In Martinez's usual 4-2-3-1, that second line of attack must be capable of contributing a number of goals in the league between them.
Mirallas can do so, but Dempsey is renowned for his ability to hit the back of the net on a regular basis, either from a central withdrawn role or drifting infield from the right flank.
He only has one goal for the Seattle Sounders so far, but he scored seven in the league for Spurs last term and 17 for Fulham the season before. Adding a player who can contribute three or four goals in a two-month spell could well be the difference in enough points to push Everton from mid-table into European contention—or from the top six a little closer to the top four.
Impact Sub or Starter?
Who should take Dempsey on loan?
Dempsey's decision might well come down to how often he will be used. At Spurs, he would compete with a number of players for an attacking midfield or forward role, while at Fulham, he could probably walk into the side on their current form.
Everton might be somewhere in between, but Martinez would be able to rest some of his more regular starters for a short period of time, allowing them to be at full capacity for the end-of-season run-in when Dempsey disappears again in March.
Aside from the technical ability and goalscoring potential he brings, Dempsey has a good work rate, is tactically disciplined and is a selfless performer, all of which would help him thrive under Martinez—as well as bring out the best of the club's other forwards.
If Everton can convince him to sign for them, he could be their signing of the winter window and the player who gives them the confidence to challenge for a high league finish in Martinez's debut season.