A Hero for Rent: Should Landon Donovan Stay at Everton?
It did not take long for Landon Donovan to show David Moyes and the blue half of Merseyside that this loan spell in Europe would be unlike his fruitless spells at Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich.
In fact it only took a quarter of an hour at the snowy Emirates as he assisted on the opener by Leon Osmon.
His corner was beautifully arced in front of the six yard box and showed Englishmen exactly why Americans view Donovan as the icon of the national team. But it's not just his delivery that he is renowned for.
He is fast and versatile. He can play as a striker, center forward, or on the wings. Simply put he's a terrific all around footballer.
But Donovan will only be in Merseyside until the start of the MLS season in late March. It is the unfortunate fine print to a deal that has brought new life to Everton's season.
But the question is... when should Donovan go back to MLS? In March? May? Ever?
We have now seen Donovan prove that he is Premier League worthy. He has had an impact on one of England's most prestigious clubs.
But he loves life in America, especially Southern California, where he plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy and lives. However he has shown some openness into extending his loan spell until the end of the season. David Moyes also has shown interest in making the deal permanent.
But the Galaxy will not let Donovan go and they shouldn't.
Landon Donovan is the face of the Galaxy, not David Beckham or Bruce Arenas or anyone else.
He is to the Galaxy as Ryan Giggs is to Manchester United. He is the USA's best player and the fact that he plays for an American club makes him special.
Despite the benefits, Donovan should return to MLS.
I see him doing the same thing Beckham does by going to AC Milan during the MLS offseason as a way to stay fresh. Although Beckham's motivation is different, (His is to maintain a spot on the England squad) Donovan could follow in his footsteps and could make himself a better footballer during the offseason.
Donovan is lucky enough to go to a league that is more competitive for his offseason training; he already knows that when he steps on the pitch at the Home Depot Center in the spring, he will be a better player than he was after the MLS Cup final.
And that's all Landon Donovan ever wanted.
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