With Everton languishing in 14th place in the English Premier League, and with their struggles due mostly to an inability to score — Evertonians have been hoping that U.S. star Landon Donovan will return to the club on loan in January. However, Donovan has decided not to. He explained:
While I enjoyed my time at Everton last season and still appreciate all the support their fans have given me, I feel that it is important to continue to rest and recover this off-season as opposed to going on loan.
I never considered being loaned to a club other than Everton, but I have been playing nearly non-stop for the past two years and I believe that this decision will allow me to perform at my best for the Galaxy and the national team throughout the upcoming year.
This is the right decision. Unlike in 2009, Donovan played during much of the summer of 2010 in the World Cup, where he excelled. He definitely needs a break. In addition, though I don’t say this factor entered his decision, Donovan finally demonstrated last winter that he can excel in a top European League (he was unable to do so in Germany on several occasions earlier in his career). Donovan has nothing much he needs to prove in England now.
His decision is a blow to Everton, though. Our defensive record is pretty good (eight of the teams ahead of us have conceded more goals), but we’ve only scored 20 goals in 18 EPL matches (no team above us has scored that few). Moreover, the great Tim Cahill has scored nine of the 20 goals, but will miss time in January due to the Asian Cup.
Everton no doubt will pick up an attacking player or two on loan. But it’s unlikely that any such player will be Donovan’s equal.