According to an article on Goal.com yesterday, Landon Donovan was quoted as saying, “If I ever went back to England I would only want to play for Everton.” And now the speculation begins. At first glance I thought he was crazy. Rumors have placed Chelsea as one team looking for his services and who wouldn’t want to play for the English giant. However, once I got to thinking about it, Donovan’s comments began to make sense.
Photo from fOTOGLIF
Of course a bid from Chelsea would definitely mean a large sum of money, perhaps way more than Everton could possibly put on the table. It’s refreshing to see an athlete, who is considered a super star on this side of the pond, pass up a potentially high value contract. It shows a lot about what Donovan is about. At this point in his career proving he can perform with other big names in soccer is seemingly more important than a big pay day. From a soccer standpoint, it makes perfect sense. He would most definitely be in the starting rotation at Everton, which is something that wouldn’t be guaranteed at Chelsea with all the talent they have on that roster. Secondly, in a mere 10 weeks he has already enamored himself to his teammates, manager, and fans. A move to Chelsea would cause him to have to prove himself all over again, and with a club like Chelsea the pressure would most certainly be magnified.
The only thing that bothers me about his comment is that he is being way to politically correct. “If I ever went back to England…?” Why in the world would you ever, with the success you had in 10 short weeks, consider going anywhere else or, heaven forbid, stay in the MLS? You’ve proven that the EPL is a league you can perform in and be competitive, it’s time to take that fire you have on the pitch and start making it known you want to move permanently to Everton and get those guys at AEG working on a permanent deal. If not and Donovan decides to stay with the MLS, the bolstering of his reputation that accompanied his move to Everton will all be for nothing. He will simply remain the greatest player in the United States, when in fact he is so much more. So man up, Donovan, and work to get that transfer done and get back to England already.
— Stephan Roehrenbaeck