Milan Could Get Donovan Without Losing Ronaldinho- Just Add Huntelaar
After the United States' success at the World Cup, things are looking up for many American players.
Clint Dempsey has been linked with moves all over Europe, including AC Milan.
Jozy Altidore is currently linked with Ajax, Besiktas, and Fenerbache.
Steve Cherundolo was named Hannover 96's captain.
Sacha Kljestan leaves MLS for RSC Anderlecht and seven minutes into his debut becomes the first American to score a Champions' League goal.
Then there is the greatest American player ever born.
Landon Donovan is arguably the most desired player in the world right now. His success in MLS and at Everton on loan this year along with three goals in four matches at the World Cup has sparked interest all over the world.
AC Milan are one team heavily linked with the player.
After both MLS commissioner Don Garber and the Los Angeles Galaxy declared the 28 year old untouchable, it seems everyone has had a change of heart and a move abroad seems possible.
"Landon is an incredibly important part of the American soccer movement and to have him lead MLS after performing on the world stage, is extremely valuable," Garber told Reuters. "I am pleased that he renegotiated his deal for several more years and I hope that he will stay here for the rest of his career but it's not my decision, it's Landon's decision and LA Galaxy's decision."
"We have had transfer interest and we will have some time to think about it and see where it goes," Donovan told ESPN after last night's MLS All Star Game against Manchester United. "There is interest from a number of teams."
Everton and Manchester City have been linked with Landon for weeks (Everton for months) with the Toffees being favorites to snag the player as he was loved at Goodison Park in his ten match loan spell, which saw him score two goals and three assists and pick up victories over Manchester United and Chelsea.
Several sources, including Setanta Sports, are reporting that Milan are a third team in the hunt.
The catch, however, is that in order for Donovan to join the club, Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho may have to go the other way to the Home Depot Center.
But whatever works right?
Actually, I think that Donovan could be brought to the club without losing the two time World Player of the Year.
It should only take two things: a little money and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
He may not be Ronaldinho, but the Dutchman does provide a nice addition to the Galaxy, who already have the superstar team of MLS, with the likes of David Beckham, Edson Buddle, Chris Klein, Craig Berhalter, Donovan Ricketts, Juninho, and Omar Gonzalez.
MLS is looking for star players. For LA, this is a favorable opportunity. They keep fans in the seats, potentially attracting more fans with another superstar (fans should not be lost as all of America for the most part is calling for Donovan's wish to be granted and allow him to move to Europe) and bringing in a prolific goalscorer. Perhaps with the pressure not as high at the Home Depot Center as at the Bernabeu or the San Siro, Huntelaar can thrive and score many goals for MLS's best side, potentially leading them to the MLS Cup title. I can see the matchup now between Huntelaar and Henry. Two of the world's best scorers. LA versus New York. America's two greatest cities. MLS could thrive from a move like that. It does not have to be Ronaldinho to be a big move.
Regardless of what happens in MLS, Milan should consider a move for Donovan, as the 28 year old could fit well at Milan.
I told this to Fox Football Fone-In in January during a show, when I suggested a Milan loan move for Donovan. Eric Wynalda, the United States' second leading scorer all time, behind Donovan, thought it was a great idea but asked where he would play.
Well Mr. Wynalda, as I wish I got the chance to tell you in January, with Landon, there is a world of possibilities. Donovan is a versatile player. He is both a forward and a midfielder. He is able to play on the wing, his preferred position, or as an attacking midfielder or center forward in the middle of the park.
Milan could use him at any of these positions. Donovan was the left midfielder for the United States at the World Cup. That is a perfect fit for him at Milan, where Massimiliano Allegri, despite reports that Milan are done spending (they really broke the bank this summer with Sokratis, Yepes, and Amelia), is looking for a player much like Pirlo and Gattuso. Donovan may not be quite the same style as Gattuso (if anything, he is more like Pirlo who loves to attack at times and has a commanding midfield presence), but he is a great fit in that midfield along with the two of them. He could team up well with all the midfielders: Pirlo, Gattuso, Flamini, Seedorf, and Ambrossini.
A good Milan is one that uses the wings. We saw that last season with Luca Antonini and Ronaldinho making several key plays along the wing. Donovan could only add to that. He is a skilled wing to wing player. His goal against Slovenia shows his ability to carry the ball from the wing and make things happen. He is excellent at creating chances from crosses and sits well at the end of them too.
He is great on set pieces, something Milan will need to take advantage of this season. Corners proved key last season, as Milan scored several times off them. Donovan can only make that aspect of the game better.
Donovan is also a very easy to coach player. He does not need to be kept in line with an ego, he has none. He is a class player, the kind any club would want representing them.
I do not believe Ronaldinho needs to go in order to make things happen with Landon Donovan. Los Angeles are a great club with very knowledgeable people running the show. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is a great player who could benefit from a move away from the San Siro. Something else for Milan to consider is that should Donovan be brought in for Huntelaar, it serves many choices.
Donovan is rarely injured and could play a full thirty eight matches for the club (though he would surely be rested due to Champions' League action). With the aging midfield and the history of health concerns, he could revamp the line and prevent severe damage by minimizing casualties. There were times last year when Milan had a very weak midfield due to injury and it cost them. Players were running on fumes because they did not have enough legs on the bench and it proved harmful.
He also benefits the forwards. He could take the place of Ronaldinho, Pato, and Boriello should they need rest. Also, if Huntelaar goes so Donovan can join, Dominic Adiyiah can also benefit. The 20 year old Ghana international will not be joining Mainz on loan and could see first team action from time to time. He could prove to be the fourth forward ahead of Inzaghi.
There are several reasons to bring Landon Donovan to the San Siro and there are honestly very few negatives. Losing Huntelaar would not be a bad thing. He has been looking for a move away all summer. It is not fair to say Ronaldinho should be the one to go when he is the one who wants to stay. I am sure that both Huntelaar and the Los Angeles Galaxy would welcome a move like this, rather, if Los Angeles were using their heads, they would welcome this move.
Milan, you may say your done, but you have a golden opportunity here. Everton cannot provide the likes of Huntelaar and have less funds to work with. Jump on this opportunity now before it passes you by.
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