Are there more fish and chips in Landon Donovan’s future? Everton manager David Moyes certainly hopes so, and he would be “delighted” to bring Landon Donovan back to Merseyside for a second spell with the Toffees.
Donovan recently helped the LA Galaxy clinch the Supporters’ Shield and the MLS Western Conference title, and he will soon prepare to enter the playoffs for the MLS Cup with the Galaxy, who are the top seeds in the Western Conference.
Moyes would likely try to lure Donovan back for another loan spell at the club after the MLS season concludes, similar to the deal they struck last season during which time the American won over plenty of fans at Goodison Park.
“It would be hard to say no,” Donovan told the BBC. “I’ve always been amazed at all the respect that I’ve had from the Everton fans, and I really hope that, if it’s not this year, I get the chance to go back there and play again. But if you asked me now I would lean towards a little more uncertainty. It’s hard for me to say as I’ve had a really long year. But we’ll see after a few week’s rest and see how it goes.”
Donovan scored two goals in ten appearances for Everton during his three-month loan last season. Even though it took some time for fans to warm up to him, he became an integral part of the team during his stay, and supporters even started a facebook campaign to urge him to extend his loan.
“When I was there I just felt loved and accepted, and I think they appreciate the way I play,” he said. “The effort I put in and the way I play is always going to be there, and it was nice to be there and have that appreciated by all the fans.”
He ended up returning to the Galaxy on schedule, but after a very impressive World Cup in South Africa, Donovan’s stock has risen considerably. A permanent move to the Premier League would do wonders for his reputation around the world, should he have a similar impact as he did last season.
Most people were understandably skeptical of his ability to adapt to European football after two failed spells in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich, but over the last twelve months Donovan has proved that he is now up to the task. Everton can definitely use his help as well – the Toffees are currently in 11th place in the league after struggling early on in the season.
“Last time when [David Moyes] called I was obviously extremely excited about it. I just have to make sure that I get the appropriate rest. The last thing you want is to go somewhere when you’re not 100%. You’re then not only failing the club, but you’re failing yourself as well.”
Moyes will certainly be hoping that American gets some R&R in the next few weeks, and so will the Everton faithful. Donovan’s European football adventure may still have some chapters left in it.
Around the League
Spurs have a pre-contract agreement (whatever that means) to sign South African defender Bongani Khumalo from SuperSport United of the Premier Soccer League in South Africa. Khumalo featured in all three of South Africa’s World Cup matches this past summer, and he will make the move to White Hart Lane for about £1.5 million. The transfer is still subject to the player attaining a work permit, and if all goes well he should be available for selection in January.
Meanwhile, Manchester United striker Michael Owen has been ruled out of action following a hamstring injury during training. Owen has made six appearances for United this season, netting three times, but has not featured since the October 2nd match against Sunderland. He was originally penciled in for a start in the Carling Cup match-up against Wolves, in which United won thanks to a late Javier Hernandez winner. Owen told the BBC that he expects to be out for “a few weeks”. United also received the bad news that Wayne Rooney, who finally committed to a five-year deal last week after claiming he wanted to leave the club, will be out for longer than the initial three-week estimate to recover from an ankle injury. However, with Javier Hernandez finding the net in his last two appearances for the club, supporters may welcome the layoff in order to see more of the fiery Mexican.
Blackburn are nearing a takeover by Venky’s Group, an Indian poultry and pharmaceutical company, who are holding talks with the club and the Premier League regarding a buyout. The deal is expected to be completed by November, and it would make Blackburn the first Premier League club owned by an Indian company. The club has been up for sale for two years, but the Jack Walker Trust refuse to sell to any party unable to show firm financial backing for the team’s progress.