As of today this is a big "if," but if Everton could somehow manage to purchase Landon Donovan from the MLS, the Blues just might have to be considered one of the Top Five clubs in the Premier League.
It has already been a good offseason for manager Davide Moyes. He has added Jermaine Beckford, Magaye Gueve, Joao Silva, and keeper Jan Mucha.
Moyes has also signed contract extensions for a few keys playes, including Tim Cahill and Jack Rodwell. Rodwell was huge for Moyes to keep, as rumors had the midfielder going to one of the big rivals in the Premier League.
Add Donovan to the mix and Everton has a formidable attack to compete with the current top four—Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Manchester City. I realize I left two clubs off this list which might raise some eyebrows in both Tottenham and Everton's Merseyside neighbors Liverpool.
With or without Donovan, Everton is a stronger club right now than both Tottenham and Liverpool. With the American, Everton can give the other top four teams a run for their money.
Everton does not have the money to spend that the top four clubs do, but Moyes has been able to piece together the puzzle perhaps better than anyone else outside of the big four money.
Donovan, as has been well-documented by now, fit in beautifully with the Blues in the transfer last winter. Landon would add depth to Everton's already fairly stong midfield that boasts Tim Cahill, Steven Pienaar, Mikel Arteta, and Jack Rodwell.
If Moyes was able to get the MLS to part with their star attraction, something MLS commissioner Don Garber has said he does not want to do, it might mean selling either Arteta or Pienaar, both of whom Moyes has not been able to re-sign to long term deals as he had hoped this offseason.
Pienaar seems the likeliest to sell. His reluctance to negotiate an extension with Everton before the World Cup started has put Moyes now in a difficult situation. The Blues do not want to have Pienaar for only one more season and then lose him. Better to sell now if they can't get a new contract done, and a perfect time if it means freeing up money for Donovan.
Donovan is expected to cost £10 million, a fair chunk of change for Moyes. A chunk he doesn't have unless he sells the South African Pienaar.
Pienaar's reluctance to want to stay at Goodison Park and Donovan's clear hope to get back has no doubt put Landon in a better position with the Toffee faithful. Both players are 28 and both bring world class form to the Blues. Donovan perhaps brings a bit more big time worldwide experience with his over 130 caps for the United States, but Pienaar has played for a longer time in a more talented and deep league.
It can be nothing more than speculation, however, until MLS commissioner Don Garber lets loose the grip he has on Landon Donovan and realizes one player, even a player as great as Donovan, will not make or break his league.
If Garber doesn't come to this realization, the best the Blues can hope for is another January transfer and securing Landon Donovan's services for another two-and-a-half month spell. In which case they better get busy signing Pienaar before it's too late.
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