5 Possible Destinations for Clint Dempsey in the January Transfer Window
With the Major League Soccer season finally coming to an end on Saturday, it is time to continue the speculation about the biggest players in the league leaving on loan in January.
We are no stranger to seeing this with Landon Donovan and David Beckham playing in Europe over the last few years.
Now, with Clint Dempsey playing in the American top flight for the Seattle Sounders, all eyes will be on the United States star and his potential January loan move to Europe.
If he does find a place to go on loan, Dempsey will most likely land in England, where he played with Fulham and Tottenham before joining Seattle in August.
Here is a look at five possible destinations for Dempsey during the January transfer window.
Dempsey transferred from Tottenham before the English Premier League season began in August to join the Sounders, but he could don a Spurs kit once more come January.
Spurs have the first option on a potential loan for Dempsey, but they may not have room for him as manager Andre Villas-Boas looks to iron out his best 11.
According to a report by Jack Wilson of the The Sun in November, Spurs were one of four clubs interested in bringing the midfielder back to England.
While it would spark up a nice reunion between the two sides, a Tottenham move for Dempsey is unlikely because of the depth the North London club have in the midfield at the moment.
Before sacking Martin Jol, Fulham were a complete mess.
Now, with Rene Meulensteen in charge, the Cottagers are looking to get out of the bottom three for good, and the return of Dempsey could help out that cause.
The 30-year-old American would hand the London club a boost in attack, but if Meulensteen continues to utilize a 4-3-3, like he did in the club's win over Aston Villa on Sunday, it may not bode well for Dempsey.
Dempsey could get used to playing on the wing of the attacking formation, but he is better suited to play in a central role behind a forward.
Having Dempsey slot behind Dimitar Berbatov would be a welcome sight to Fulham fans, but whether that happens still remains to be seen.
Dempsey could make an unlikely move to Stoke City to join the growing American contingent at the Britannia Stadium, according to this report from the Stoke Sentinel.
The 13th-place Potters used Stephen Ireland in the central attacking role of the 4-2-3-1 formation Mark Hughes uses on Saturday, but Dempsey would be a welcome upgrade, even if he does wear Stoke colors for just six weeks.
Dempsey could also use a potential move to Stoke to inspire Brek Shea a bit more in training as the young American has failed to crack the Stoke squad yet this season.
The native Texan would also be able to combine with another countryman of his, Geoff Cameron, who starts at right-back for the Potters.
Stoke are a club that have shown plenty of interest in MLS talent, including their failed move for Juan Agudelo; they could dig into the American domestic league again for a Dempsey loan.
Everton is no stranger to short-term MLS loan deals as they brought in Landon Donovan twice in 2010 and 2012 from the Los Angeles Galaxy.
The fifth-place side in the EPL could benefit from having another key playmaker in Dempsey in the lineup to partner with their terrific forward Romelu Lukaku.
Dempsey would also benefit from this potential move because he would be playing at a high level with some of the best talent in the English top flight.
With the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and both Manchester clubs not touching a potential Dempsey deal for numerous reasons, Everton would present the best scenario for the American to join and win on a consistent basis.
The Toffees have been linked with Dempsey, but when asked back in November, manager Roberto Martinez refused to link the club to the player, as he was quoted by ESPN as saying that the club were looking at plenty of players for the January window.
The Villains have scored just 16 goals this season and could use an extra burst of creativity in their attacking setup.
The draw for Dempsey here would be that he gets the chance to provide for one of the most dangerous forwards in the game, Christian Benteke.
Dempsey would not be the only American in the squad as Brad Guzan is the first-choice keeper at Villa Park.
The American would also infuse a bit of veteran leadership into the squad, whose oldest player is Guzan at 29.
Follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90.