Landon Donovan is headed back to Europe. Well, for a few months, at the least. Donovan has inked a loan deal that will see him join Bayern in January and remain there until before the start of the upcoming MLS season.
Donovan’s unsuccessful spell at Bayer Leverkusen, his perceived lack of desire to return to Europe, and the feelings of quite a few that he needs to succeed in Europe to secure his status as an American legend have been documented plenty, so there’s no need to delve too deeply into those subjects.
It is true that Donovan needs to do well on this spell. He’s 26, and another disappointing showing could set him back another couple of years or even spell the end for him in Europe. MLS likely won’t lower their valuation of him, so it’s up to him to show that he’s worth someone paying it.
Besides that, Donovan’s development and success in Europe can only be a good thing for the U.S. national team.
Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose are undoubtedly the first-choice strikers at Bayern, but Donovan will likely be given a chance to challenge Lukas Podolski for the third striker position. If it happens that Podolski is sold in January, that spot could be his for the taking.
This is a perfect situation for Donovan. He isn’t the focus of the team, and if he can find regular playing time and make a positive impact in the process, it should be considered a successful spell. Even if it doesn’t land a permanent deal at Bayern, showing that he’s ready for Europe this time around will lead to more offers from quality European sides.
Do you think this is a good move for Donovan? Do you think he’ll have enough opportunities to prove that he deserves a permanent move to Bayern or another European club?