Sunday’s match against Hull might be the last for Donovan in a Toffees jersey.
As it stands Landon Donovan will return to the LA Galaxy well in time for their March 27th season opener. Bruce Arena indicated that he wants Donovan back and has scotched rumours that the Galaxy would be open to an extension.
Arena said: “We’re not interested. Landon will be back here on 15 March, as we have said all along.”
Donovan’s three month Everton loan has been an unqualified success marred only by a pretty lame miss in front of an open goal against Spurs. His pace and attacking qualities proved influential in their second interlude capped by historic wins against Man Utd and Chelsea. The fans were won over by him. David Moyes was quite keen that he stay on till the end of the Premiership season.
For Donovan, this is a total turnabout from his initial foray into the European leagues – a frustrating Bundesliga stint. His Everton stint shows a matured player possessing the qualities to shine in the toughest league.
However, much as he is tempted into staying there is a small issue of principal.
Last season in a well publicized snit, he lashed out at David Beckham accusing the English midfielder of lacking commitment to the Galaxy as he showed up three months into the MLS season after completing his Milan loan. The accusations were not made to Beckham’s face but through more unprofessional third party sources. In this case though Grant Wahl’s book ” The Beckham Experiment” which sort of pre-empted any moral high ground.
“All that we care about at a minimum is that he committed himself to us. As time has gone on, that has not proved to be the case in many ways – on the field, off the field.”
He also said this which bears significance for his own situation.
” But with Beckham, I’d say no, he wasn’t committed. Let’s say he does stay here three more years. I’m not going to spend the next three years of my life doing it this way.
Bruce Arena might be providing a gentle reminder.
Personally, this is a good time to be in the English league just before the World Cup playing at its level of pace and physicality, rubbing shoulders with some of the opposition, and in the eye of the scouting agents of the big clubs. A good World Cup campaign could provide a nice continuum into a permanent European placement.
But if he truly believes that the Galaxy need him more as I think he does, this should be an easy choice. Otherwise it will just be another platitude getting in the way of a career opportunity.