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Everton are in advanced discussions with Landon Donovan to acquire him on loan for a three month deal, according to several sources in the English press.
If the deal goes through, it should be a win-win for both Everton and Donovan. For Everton, the club is desperately in need for new players to help a team that has been savagely disrupted by injuries. Plus the club is very much in need of a creative attacking midfielder who can take over from the still-injured Mikel Arteta and to thread passes through for Everton strikers such as Yakubu, Louis Saha and Jo.
For Donovan, it'll be an excellent opportunity to maintain his fitness, to compete at a much higher level than Major League Soccer where he may be able to improve his game, as well as prove to the world whether he truly is an accomplished footballer. While he's a massive star in the United States, his previous appearances in Europe for Bayern Munich and Bayern Leverkusen have been considered flops.
If the deal does go through, it'll give Donovan an opportunity to not only try to break into the Everton team, but the Toffees will be competing in the Europa League as well as playing several high-profile Premier League matches such as the Merseyside derby on February 6 (televised live on ESPN2) and versus Manchester City on January 16 (televised live on Fox Soccer Channel).
With all said, there are definitely big question marks about whether Donovan can compete at a Premier League level as well as for a team that often plays hoofball. Everton is a tough, physical team and playing for the Toffees would significantly increase the chances of Donovan being injured before a critical World Cup tournament for him. Plus, there are many question marks surrounding the size and physique of the player and whether he would be able to adapt to the English game.
My personal opinion is that I don't think Donovan would be an instant hit in the Premier League. It's going to take him time to adapt to the cold temperatures and to the style of play. He's not going to get as much space or time on the ball as he does in MLS. That said, I believe he'll turn some heads and will make some valuable assists in games. But I don't envision him setting the league on fire. As for Everton, they're a team that wouldn't necessarily be the best fit for Donovan. But given the opportunity, I feel there's a lot more for Donovan to gain than to lose by making the move to Goodison Park.
What do you think? Would Landon Donovan playing at Everton be a smart move or not? Click the comments link below and share your feedback.
Photo credit: Stuart Wainstock.