Landon Donovan: Why He Should Make Everton Move Permanent

Michael Cummings@MikeCummings37World Football Lead WriterDecember 16, 2011

Landon Donovan: Why He Should Make Everton Move Permanent

0 of 5

    Landon Donovan is headed back to England.

    This time he should stick around a while.

    News came out of Los Angeles late Thursday that Donovan had signed a loan deal with Everton of the English Premier League. The two-month agreement makes him eligible to play for the Liverpool-based club from Jan. 4 until Feb. 25.

    You might remember that Donovan, the captain of MLS champions Los Angeles Galaxy, signed a similar deal two years ago. You also might remember that Donovan was a success in his first spell in England.

    Now he's going back. It's only for two months, though, and he'll return to Los Angeles to prepare for the Galaxy's 2011 MLS Cup title defense after his time in Liverpool is up. Once the loan runs out, the transfer window will be closed again.

    That means Donovan won't be able to join Everton—or any other European club—full-time until the summer. But if he's smart, Donovan will lay the groundwork for a permanent deal while he's over there. And if they're smart, Donovan, Everton and MLS will make a permanent deal happen.

    Here are five reasons why.

Donovan Has Nothing Left to Prove in America

1 of 5

    Donovan and the Galaxy won the 2011 MLS Cup in November, beating the Houston Dynamo 1-0 in the Nov. 20 final. Donovan scored the winning goal, a classy chipped finish with the outside of his foot in a one-on-one against the on-rushing keeper.

    It was Donovan's second MLS title, following the Galaxy's 2005 triumph. He also won the US Open Cup the same year.

    In his other role, as the Savior of American Soccer, Donovan has been just as successful. As one half of the Beckham-Donovan combo over the past five years, Donovan has helped MLS—and soccer in general—reach the height of its popularity in America.

    For proof, see the league's new TV contract, far and away its most lucrative yet.

    What does it all mean?

    It means that Donovan has nothing left to prove in America. He won silverware. He did his best to promote the sport to an apathetic mainstream.

    Now it's time to move on.

Donovan Turns 30 in March

2 of 5

    On March 4, 2012, Landon Donovan says goodbye to his 20s.

    For elite soccer players, turning 30 is a bittersweet milestone. Usually, the best players are in their prime at 30, but at the same time, the end is near.

    After he turns 30, Donovan might not get another chance to play top-flight football in Europe.

Last Time Worked Out

3 of 5

    Last time Donovan went on loan to Everton, he played well. He made 13 appearances, scored a few goals and helped the Toffees beat Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea.

    It went so well that Donovan later declared himself "an Evertonian for life."

    Everton's fans embraced Donovan in 2010. Donovan played well in the demanding Premiership.

    If the same things happen this time, why wouldn't Donovan consider joining Everton permanently?

Everton Could Use Him

4 of 5

    Everton sit 12th in the Premier League table having collected 16 points from their first 14 matches. The Toffees have scored 15 goals in those 14 games.

    Clearly, there's room for another talented attacking player.

    Everton's roster is overloaded with forwards, but there's not a lot of quality.

    Landon Donovan will probably start right away. If he signed full-time and played well, he could quickly become a fan favorite.

One More World Cup Run

5 of 5

    Landon Donovan will be 32 by the time the next World Cup begins. That means this will probably be his last World Cup cycle as a top American player.

    If he wants to make it a memorable last dance, Donovan needs to be at his best. To be at his best, Donovan needs to play as much top-flight soccer as possible.

    To do so, he needs to leave MLS and sign a permanent deal with a European club.

    If Donovan succeeds a second time in England, Everton would probably be willing to sign him full-time next summer. (By the time his loan is over, the transfer window will be closed.)

    If so, Donovan should go for it and MLS should let him. Donovan could spend the last few years of his prime in an elite league and once that's done, he could move back to MLS.

    After all he's done for American soccer, the MLS should always take him back, no questions asked.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.