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Landon Donovan is torn between staying at Everton, where his loan deal expires March 15, and returning to the Los Angeles, where he has signed a new
four-year deal. What should be do?
Well this all well and good... but he's signed to play for the L.A. Galexy... so he has no real choice in the matter. He will be forced to return to MLS unless they wind up with a labor action ...which still is a very real possibility. But no I'd much rather see him play in the EPL as he will be better challenged there.
Landon needs to do what he's contractually obligated to do, no choice. If Everton or any other EPL team wishes to keep him on loan or bring him in as a transfer, that agreement needs to be made between the EPL team desiring his services and MLS and The Galaxy. If Landon and Everton want to extend the loan deal, I don't see why Bruce and the Galaxy would be put out by their best player continuing to play at a higher level than MLS and coming into the MLS season as a player already match fit. That being said, I wouldn't expect the Galaxy to extend the loan into the MLS season, but what's the problem with Landon staying at Everton until the MLS season starts?If Landon's ultimate desire is to move on to another team in one of the strongest leagues in the world, MLS and the Galaxy should adhere to his wishes, but they should expect the appropriate compensation, which has definitely increased since he's been playing on loan.It's been great seeing Landon's play in England and him playing with players of equal quality. He hasn't had to be the team leader and go to guy, which has allowed him more freedom with less pressure as he's made his major contribution to Everton's good run of form. I definitely think he needs to be at this level, and I hope to see a lot more of his good play against some of the best players in the world.Oh, and if he could only accidentally injur another England international, that should also help the U.S. in the World Cup, though the England players might be doing enough off the field to negatively impact their roster and their chances. Just hope Landon stays healthy for this summer!
Landon never should have signed a long-term contract with the Galaxy before his loan. He should have been more confident that he would succeed at Everton and that the loan would transfer to at least a short-term contract till the end of the season. But I'm definitely glad he has now proved himself at the top club level, it was a long-time coming and bodes well for the World Cup!
At the very least, Donovan should be able to stay until needed March 27th for LA's first match against New England. Donovan has proven that he can step in on short notice and add immediate value to even a top-flight EPL team. He's such a great team player, he's going to be more valuable to LA the more games he gets with Everton.
But the marketing folks at LA outght to carefully consider the upside to allowing even a further stay with Everton. Every additional game LD gets in England, he is picking up serious English fans that may not have taken any notice of the MLS before. Imagine a large English base of LA Galaxy fans creating a market for Galaxy Gear. His being over there has been nothing but great for the MLS so far and a show of good will by the MLS could lead to an explosion of overseas popularity and opportunities for cross-league matches. Just think of it. And think of the impact to our Men's National Team. Right now, in a World Cup Year, our guys are making the biggest push in European Soccer ever and it's not only Donovan. However, Donovan has made such a splash that very big clubs, like Chelsea, have taken notice and are prepared to offer a cash infusion into the MLS that can only do the league good.
Promoting MLS players in Europe will go further in raising the popularity and impression of the league than can be imagined. But, if you can't see doing it for yourselves, please do it for the US Men's Team and their chances in South Africa. Please!
I think most would agree that Donovan playing at Everton has been a win/win. He has made Everton better and all the world knows it, and at the same time, he has bolstered the reputation of American players and the MLS. Most would also agree that Donovan continuing to play in the EPL would have the better impact for the MLS and the US National team in a World Cup year. The flip side, is that the Galaxy stand to lose the face of their franchise and American soccer. But, as the Galaxy have shown in the whole David Beckham experiment, that they are supposedly all about "bringing awareness and growth to the game in America and the MLS." It seems that in Donovan's case, the best thing the Galaxy could do to bring awareness and growth to the game in America and the MLS would be to leave Landon at Everton until the end of the EPL season. Speaking of Beckham, how about the irony in all of this? Wasn't it Donovan who, just a year ago, was ripping Beckham for not wanting to return to the his LA team that he was contractually obligated to?
Why are we assuming that he even has a choice? Its up to LA Galaxy to decide. End of story. If Everton are really serious about keeping him they should buy him from LA, if they can't afford him then they will have to wait to get him on loan again next season.
I say he stays at Everton until the season ends(if allowed by Galaxy)then return match fit for the rest of the MLS season, fullfilling his obligation to The Galaxy and MLS. Meanwhile work with MLS and Galaxy to return to Everton next EPL season fulltime. But do it all upfront legally. (just dont do it like Beckham did).
I'm VERY torn. As a Galaxy & MLS fan, I want him to stay...and he did just sign a new 4-year deal...but, as a USMNT fan, I also know that the EPL is the best league in the world & Landon succeeding there can only mean good things for the USMNT. Personally, I say it depends on the MLS labor situation. If there's any sort of stoppage, he should finish the EPL season at Everton. However, if not, he belongs & should stay with the Galaxy. He does have some "unfinished business" in MLS...bringing another MLS Championship to L.A.!!
So where are the comments saying "What's fair for one star, should be fair for the other"? Didn't Mr. Beckham get to extend his stay at AC Milan last year and will probably do so again this year, pending the outcome of tomorrow's game against Man U.I'm a Galaxy fan and want what's best for the team but, want to see a player that's worked so hard succeed at the highest level. Let him stay for the rest of the EPL season and then come back to MLS. His value has only increased both financially and in fan admiration. If the world wasn't in such economic troubles, is there any doubt that Everton would try to buy him flat out?
For me the perfect scenario would be:1) Come home to USA, get put in bubble wrap to avoid another pre-World Cup injury, get used being a leader again rather than the role player like he is at Everton2) After the World Cup, dominate MLS and win the MLS Cup with Beckham3) Outright transfer to Chelsea for the highest amount ever paid for an American in the Winter Transfer Window