clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Landon Donovan: Me and Everton were the perfect marriage - but I couldn't stay

New, comments

US striker reveals why he couldn't make the permanent switch to Goodison Park

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Landon Donovan has finally revealed why he was unable to make a permanent move to Everton despite two hugely successful loan spells with the club.

The former USMNT striker first arrived on a three-month loan in the winter of 2009-10 before returning for another six-week spell in early 2012.

He played 22 times across both spells, scoring two goals, and become a favourite with the supporters.

His arrival lifted everyone at the club at a time when finances were tight (even tighter than normal) and his hard-working attitude immediately endeared himself with the fans.

They subsequently called for Everton to make the move permanent and manager David Moyes was also keen.

However, Donovan had made a promise to LA Galaxy that he would return to the club. And although that is hugely disappointing from an Evertonian perspective you have to respect Donavan's loyalty.

In an interview with the New York Times, Donovan said:

"I’m a very loyal person. I had promised Tim [Leiweke, former executive with A.E.G., which owns LA Galaxy] when he was here and Bruce [Arena] that I would come back, in exchange for letting me go there.

"And although things changed and they wanted me to stay, and there was a lot of potential talking to be done, immediately I said, ‘Thank you, but I promised that I would come back, and I want to go back.’"

Donovan also made some interesting comments about Moyes and how the reaction of the supporters played a part in his transfer dealings.

Moyes was acutely aware that Everton fans value hard work and that any player he brings in has to have that attitude. It was the bedrock to the club's success  during that era and why they so often bridged the gap between themselves and richer clubs.

Donovan shared that attitude and appeared to develop a genuine affinity with the club. It's just a real shame his time on Merseyside was so brief.

"David Moyes understood that club very well"

"He understood the dynamics of the fan base and how it all works, and what they like.

"And he was always very astute with his signings and he had to be because he didn’t have the money that the top clubs had.

"He watched me a lot. He was aware of what I did as a player and he knew that I would fit in. So all of that made for a really easy transition.

"I remember the first week I got to Everton, one of the old guys that played there — he was sort of a legend of the club — we had a quick conversation.

"He said: ‘I’ll just tell you one thing: if you work hard, if you run hard and give everything you have on the field, they will love you no matter what you do.’

"Not that people missed this, but I try to be a hard worker. Maybe it gets overlooked, but for me it was an opportunity to go, I’m going to run until I can’t do it anymore. And I loved it. Their passion and their energy was incredible for me to feel. It was just this perfect marriage."