American star says his goodbyes to Goodison Park.
Everton have confirmed Landon Donovan’s loan spell has officially ended and he is returning to Los Angeles Galaxy.
The Toffees had hoped the prospect of a Major League Soccer players’ strike could enable him to stay for longer.
But a statement on Everton’s website on Sunday said: “Landon has returned to LA Galaxy following his 10-week loan.
“Despite attempts to extend his loan at Everton, LA Galaxy have now recalled him to their squad ahead of the start of the MLS season on 27 March.”
Donovan, who played in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Birmingham City, paid tribute to Everton’s fans on his departure.
“I’m 28 years old now and I’ve played over 100 times for my country, I’ve also played a lot of league games in different parts of the world,” he told EvertonTV.
“But I’ve never met a fan base like this, either playing for them or as an away player. Forget about football for a moment, this is a experience I’ll never forget.”
It remains unclear whether the MLS season will kick off on time as the strike threat remains.
On Friday, Toffees boss David Moyes was still holding out hope that Donovan’s loan might be extended.
He said: “Landon has done really well. He settled in very quickly and he has had an impact on the club.”
Moyes added he would like Donovan back next year in any event, during the MLS off-season.
“If Landon was available again next January, I would probably try to bring him back here,” he said.
Donovan told BBC Sport recently that he would “jump” at the chance to return to Everton.
“I give a lot of credit to the manager for believing in me and giving me chances and I hope that I’ve given a lot to the club as well,” he added. (BBC Sport)
No doubt Landon will be hoping that the MLS season is canceled as a result of the players strike that is about to hit the American Football (not soccer!) League. The LA Galaxy man was a great success at Goodison Park and the attacker clearly felt at home on Merseyside and I have a sneaky suspicion he will be back sooner or later.
Donovan gave Everton more creative options going forward and proved himself more than capable of making the jump from the MLS to the Premier League.