Donovan to return to Everton on two-month loan
Landon Donovan is headed back to Merseyside.
The LA Galaxy announced on Thursday that the MLS superstar will join Everton on a two-month loan beginning on Jan. 1, reuniting him with the EPL club he represented during a similar loan two years ago.
Donovan appeared in 13 games for Everton in 2010, scoring two goals and drawing rave reviews on his first shot at playing in the English Premier League. He used that loan largely to stay fit ahead of the World Cup in South Africa, and this time he’s eager to return to the club and reunite with his former teammates.
“The opportunity to return to Everton and play for such a well-respected club and a manager that I hold in such high regard was something that was simply too good to pass up,” Donovan said in a statement. “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Everton in 2010 and I’m hopeful that we can experience similar success this time around. I want to thank David Moyes and Bruce Arena, as well as executives from both clubs and Major League Soccer for allowing me this unique and special opportunity.”
Donovan will first be eligible for Everton’s game against Bolton Wanderers — for whom fellow US international Stuart Holden plays — on Jan. 4. The loan will last through the Merseyside derby against Liverpool at Anfield on Feb. 25.
The Galaxy captain actually let the news slip earlier on Thursday on Twitter, with words of allegiance to the club that embraced him nearly two years ago.
Once a Toffee, always a Toffee
— Landon Donovan (@landondonovan) December 15, 2011
Everton manager David Moyes has repeatedly expressed his desire to land Donovan since the 2010 loan expired, and expressed similar sentiments after the deal was finalized.
"I am delighted that we have managed to get Landon back," Moyes told Everton's official website. "He will give us some good experience over January and February. He did well for us when he was over two years ago and hopefully will return with those same qualities."
Donovan battled injuries and a hectic schedule in 2011, but still managed to help the US national team reach the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup and to captain the LA Galaxy to the MLS Cup.
“This is a great opportunity for Landon,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said in a statement. “During the final months of the 2011 season, he was limited because of an ongoing injury and he just started to get his legs back during the playoffs. Therefore, I think that this opportunity with Everton comes at a perfect time as he is rested and ready to go. We wish Landon and Everton the very best and look forward to Landon returning to the Galaxy on February 26.”
Donovan will join US goalkeeper Tim Howard in Everton, as well as a number of other familiar faces.
"I am looking forward to meeting up again with the likes of Timmy Howard, Phil Neville, Tim Cahill plus the rest of the lads,” Donovan told EvertonFC.com, “and it will be great to work again with the manager David Moyes.”
WATCH: Donovan scores game-winner in MLS Cup