Soccernet is reporting that Bayern Munich have agreed a loan deal with MLS and the Los Angeles Galaxy for Landon Donovan – starting in January and going through March, but possibly to the end of the season.
Donovan was on a training stint with the club for the last few days and now will go there for what appears to be a limited time (at least right now).
“As a person and a player, I am completely different now to how I was then, I have matured,” Donovan said in the Soccernet article. “I am ready. I believe I can keep up with all the other players, even if I am not the best player here.”
My hope here is that he is right and he really is ready. What he, and US soccer to a lesser extent, don’t need is for Donovan to go over there again, and flop, again. It is in the best interest of everyone, except perhaps the Galaxy in terms of putting a good team on the field, that Donovan succeed during this loan spell. This will of course depend on how many minutes he actually gets. Going over there and training for 2.5 months is one thing. Actually getting on the field in a position to contribute is another. We don’t yet know what else Bayern might do in the transfer period, so it’s hard to say ahead of time what kind of opportunities exist on the field for Donovan.
I hope he gets his chance, and I hope he makes the most of it. I think his play has given him the fair cause to explore the European option. And as I said on the podcast last week, I think Germany is a good option for him, better than England right now. Even playing for Bayern, the spotlight won’t be the same on him as if he were even at a mid-level Premiership club, where there’s just so much attention placed on the league (rightly or wrongly) from throughout the world.
If you are the Galaxy, of course, you have to be just a wee bit nervous. The last thing that club needs is for April to roll around and have Beckham and Donovan both be hurt from their offseason loan spells.