Posts tagged Landon Donovan
Posts tagged Landon Donovan
Nikica Jelavic has more than just his position as a striker in common with Jordan Rhodes, Salomon Kalou, Nicky Maynard, Ricardo Vaz Te and even Carlos Tevez: he was linked with West Ham during the January Transfer Window. However, unlike Ricardo Vaz Te and Nicky Maynard, who signed for The Hammers on deadline day, Jelavic didn’t join the current Championship table toppers and headed to Premier League club Everton, for a fee of £5m. For Everton, it completed a successful transfer window, which saw Steven Pienaar re-join his former employers much like Landon Donovan – both on loan – and Darron Gibson sign a four-and-a-half-year deal, as well.
The signing marked the first over £1m for Everton since signing Jonny Heitinga for £6.2m in the 2009 summer transfer window, which was the last of many expensive signings Everton made since Wayne Rooney’s departure in 2004. His move made The Toffees £25m in and David Moyes went on to smash Everton’s transfer record 4 times in as many years, spending over £40m on James Beattie, Andrew Johnson, Aiyegbeni Yakubu and Marouane Fellaini. Moyes’ ability to spend led to Champions League qualification in 2005, and UEFA Cup runs in the 07/08 season and 08/09 season, as well as an F.A. Cup Final appearance in 2009, finishing runners up to Chelsea. Last year’s finish of 7th didn’t look like it could be replicated this season, with many players hinting at a small playing team and no money to bolster it; however, an impressive January, on and off the pitch, has the ability to push Everton up the league and firing them in said direction will be Nikica Jelavic.
Written by Jordan Florit for www.maycauseoffence.com/
For more articles visit my website or my Twitter @JordanFlorit
Despite the constant and almost fashionable put-down of the MLS, made all the more arguable by players such as Robbie Keane and Darren Huckerby heading to America for their final pay packet, whilst playing football that Del Piero states needs to be “more competitive,” it seems that the American Dream of a rising standard of soccer is looking all the more valid.
David Beckham joined the MLS as an L.A Galaxy player in 2007 and told the world that he was going there, ”to make a difference, to play football,” however he admitted that going over to the States didn’t mean it was going to, “make soccer the biggest sport in America,” further admitting it, “would be difficult to achieve.” He did however end his inspirational PR-fuelled ode to the MLS with a, in hindsight, accurate prediction for the future of American football, “I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think I could make a difference.”
As Beckham’s multi-million pound contract trickles to an end in Los Angeles it is unquestionable that he has brought positive attention to the league, as well as inspiring aging has-beens to follow suit. Wenger is one of the biggest admirers of the MLS, “the United States (is) where football is becoming more and more popular and the quality is rising,” said the Frenchman, “I think (America and Asia) will be the future of the game. America will produce more and more top level players.” His explanation is down to the mental attributes of the players, ”they have an aptitude to have a team attitude and a hard-working attitude too. Once they get the education, they will start to produce good players.” With these comments in mind, the first MLS star with a future in the Premier League is Brek Shea and his possible future in the World’s best league may lie under Arsene Wenger.
Brek Shea is a 6’3 winger and height out wide is no bad thing, Ronaldo is 6’1 and a combination of pace and power makes for one of the most-feared players in the world. The 21-year old has already enjoyed a spell of English football, training with Bolton Wanderers in 2007 aged only 17. Bolton are a club that have invested in American talent with Stuart Holden having signed from Houston Dynamo in 2010. Shea was drafted in for FC Dallas in 2008 and the USA international has this year been shortlisted for the MLS MVP award, along with two other players. His ability has not gone unnoticed and Arsene Wenger has moved quickly to ensure he is in the best footing to sign the creative midfielder.
Arsenal.com announced that Brek Shea has joined The Gunners on a temporary basis, and Wenger added that “he will practice with the top team when it’s possible, practice with the best prospects of the club as well outside the normal sessions and have a contact with top level football in the world,” also hinting at the player featuring for the reserves, “if it is possible I would like to do it.” Arsenal will assess the American whilst he trains with the first team and if he impresses during his time at the club, Wenger may be inclined to sign the player on loan in the January transfer window. Shea would be available to sign on a three-month loan contract with the American football calendar in it’s off-season and it is rumoured that if Wenger doesn’t make the move, David Moyes will. Moyes knows fully the advantage MLS players can bring to his club mid-season, having signed Landon Donovan on loan in January 2010.
Landon Donovan is another MLS star that may well have a future in the Premier League, similarly, on loan, at least initially. As aforementioned, the USA’s all-time highest goalscorer with 46 goals in 138 games, has already starred in the Premier League for Everton and a move back to the Merseyside club looks like a possibility with Everton cash-strapped for transfer in the January window.
The Daily Mail have suggested that “Moyes is keen to see Landon Donovan return to Goodison Park in January,” and the acquisition of the L.A Galaxy player may assist the Scot in tempting his fellow countryman Brek Shea to the Toffees, should Arsenal choose not to move for the FC Dallas player. ”It’s something we will probably try and look to to see if there’s an interest,”explained Moyes, “Donovan was popular here, and we could do with some speed and width on the right. It wouldn’t be something we’d be against, that’s for sure.” However, it would only be a loan with Moyes perhaps eluding to the lack of funds at Everton, “It’s unrealistic to sign him on a permanent deal, though.”
Tim Ream may well be the third American that could be joining the Premier League in the future and yet again it is Arsenal at the heart of the speculation. The centre-back plays for New York Redbulls and it was teammate and ex-Arsenal striker Thierry Henry that allegedly brought the name to Wenger first. Apparently Henry, who has recently jumped to the defence of NY Redbulls’ “dirty tactics” and Wenger over criticism to Arsenal’s start, has tipped off his former boss and believes that his current team’s centre-back is good enough for his former team and as a fan of The Gunners, you’d trust Henry’s opinion, wouldn’t you?
Only January will tell how many, if any, of the three MLS players make the move across the pond. However, with Brek Shea already training at Arsenal and Donovan having enjoyed a previous flirt with the EPL, the American internationals may well have a future in the Premier League. Following the paths of Clint Dempsey, Brian McBride and most recently, Stuart Holden, would prove that the skill gap is continually closing and The Professor of football is certain that America is the “future of the game.”