March 14, 2010
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
His 10-week Premier League loan spell with Everton is up, and Landon Donovan has returned to LA Galaxy. But this won't be the last that English football has seen of the American superstar, discounting his schedule in South Africa this summer.
The rumours have already started, with rumblings linking him to a move to Chelsea after the World Cup. Judging by what the American had to say on his departure from Everton, it seems his heart is somewhere else.
“I'm 28 years old now and I've played over 100 times for my country, I've also played a lot of league games in different parts of the world. But I've never met a fan-base like this, either playing for them or as an away player," Donovan told the Everton's official website.
"They've been absolutely incredible and it's hard to imagine that they can be that passionate every time you go out but they care.
"The send-off from the fans after the Hull City game was one of the most incredible experiences of my life," he added. "You feel proud but it was also a sad moment, because when you're accepted that way and you feel that love, it's hard to leave.
Donovan reflected on the highlights of his brief spell in the Premier League.
"Playing and beating Chelsea and Manchester United within the space of a week will be something I will always remember too,” he explained. "I don't think any other American has had the opportunity to do that and there aren't many other players in the world who get to play against and beat those two teams."
"I think that we forget in America that our league is only 14 or 15 years old whereas a lot of people here at Everton have been going the games for 30, 40, 50, 60 years, so there's that history and that love for this team and you can see it when you're out on the field.
"It'll be hard to explain. I was talking to my dad and I was saying that I wished he could have been here against Hull City, just to see the reception after the game, because it was something I've never experienced and I'm not sure I ever will again," he added. "Moments like that in a career, I'm not sure they come very often.
"Forget about football for a moment, this is a life experience I'll never forget."
Clearly, the fans love Donovan and the American understands the traditions at the club. More importantly, he also spoke of the bond of trust he had built up with his manager, David Moyes.
Everton are a club on the up, their midfield in particular is littered with top class players. Steven Pienaar, Marouane Fellaini, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Tim Cahill, the youngster Jack Rodwell, and the sensational Mikel Arteta. In his management and acquisition of talent, Moyes has shown he is top drawer.
All in all, you get the feeling Donovan has unfinished business on Merseyside.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!