Should Everton take a punt on Landon Donovan?

American striker Landon Donovan has proved to be a successful addition to the Everton squad. The only downside is that he is only on a ten week loan deal so should David Moyes look to sign Donovan on a permanent basis?

In a similar deal to David Beckham at AC Milan, Donovan is playing in Europe during the off-season in America. Donovan is an ambitious player and is to be commended for seeking more football instead of relaxing on the beach. Donovan gets to experience the Premier League and also keeps himself sharp in a World Cup year. With the USA and England also set to play each other at the World Cup it acts as a good scouting trip for the American. It is far from a one way deal though with Everton gaining a hard working, creative player who fits perfectly in Moyes’ side, with a strong work ethic and good technical attributes.

Donovan has so far played in 8 games for Everton scoring the one goal. He has become a core part of the first team representing the club in League, FA Cup and the Europa League. Seeing how well he has settled into the club would point to a successful future for the American on Merseyside. The problem however is that he has only a month left at the club before he has to return. Donovan has a clause in his contract that allows him to do a similar loan deal every season, and he will have plenty of Premier League suitors next January. Surely though the success he has had means that Everton should look to do a permanent deal. He fits into the clubs ethos of sensible, well thought out signings and I doubt an MLS club can hold out for an excessive fee.

Donovan appears to be very happy in America, playing for his hometown club and one that is starting to gain success. The lure of the Premier League however may be too much though for the American. After unsuccessful spells in Germany Donovan perhaps was apprehensive about coming to Europe again. This loan deal must however have partially swayed his opinion, as at least he has confirmed that he is good enough. Everton do not have vast sums of money so as highlighted earlier they prefer to do solid business in the transfer market. How can a deal be more solid than when a player has already proven himself in your side?

It may be sensible for Everton to enquire about a possible deal before the World Cup as after any international tournament the value of successful players sky-rockets. If America are to have a successful tournament it will be based on the performances of Donovan, and no doubt many more clubs will have an interest. Everton could continue to take advantage of Donovan’s contract and engineer a deal every January but it seems such a waste. If Donovan is good enough to command a starting place for 10 weeks a season surely he is worth signing full time.

Donovan also comes across as a nice and well rounded person, which has made him very popular with the Everton faithful. He has been stung in the past at Bayer Leverkusen (7 appearances in 4 years) so he has a pragmatic approach to his career, so a club with the stability of Everton must also appeal to the American. Any deal would also be a good sign of intent from Everton and build on the solid squad they already possess. The deal seems to work on all fronts and I hope that Donovan can continue to wear the Everton shirt on a permanent basis.

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