Last season saw plenty of Premier League teams taking advantage of the MLS off-season to pry away some of the league’s biggest talents on a temporary basis and boost their chances on a domestic front.
Landon Donovan signed on at Everton; Thierry Henry made a return to Arsenal while Robbie Keane was snapped up by Aston Villa. Even David Beckham would have ended up playing handful of games for Tottenham Hotspur if financial problems involving insuring Golden Balls hadn’t of scuppered the deal.
This season was expected to see more of the same; especially after Tim Cahill also made a MLS move in the summer.
Yet as of right now there have been zero MLS players signing on loan for Premier League clubs. While many teams have allowed players to train with them in order to remain fit during this down-time nobody has made a firm offer for any of the usual suspects. In fact more MLS players have left on trial periods including a handful of top goalkeepers from across the Atlantic and one of the MLS star players last term Graham Zusi; who has been on trial with West Ham.
The reason why this has been the case is a simple case of the players individual circumstances and a lack of demand.
In Donovan’s case he was widely expected to join up with The Toffees again but after going a long time without a break from the game he decided to take a break from the game on this occasion. David Beckham’s contract with LA Galaxy ran out so any move for him would have to be on a permanent and expensive deal. The puzzling ones appear to be Henry, Cahill and Keane.
Henry however would only ever return to Arsenal and off the back of his best season yet in MLS it was a move that added up considering Gervinho’s imminent Afcon exit; however as soon as Wenger decided he did not want another return for the club legend his stint with Arsenal was reduced to mere training.
In the cases of Cahill and Keane there has reportedly been plenty of interest. Sunderland were reportedly after the former Evertonian while Keane was linked with a Redknapp reunion at QPR.
In both cases nothing has come to fruition but both remain in the UK training at former clubs Everton and Spurs respectively; but don’t expect them to play in the Premier League this season.
In the case of Cahill Sunderland have cooled their interest and there appears to be very little in the way of competition. He has struggled with injures in recent years and perhaps not many teams see him as a suitable short-term solution. As for Keane he admits he needs a break after also featuring at the Euros; not to mention both men being in poor form in terms of Premier League standard.
In terms of potential MLS players heading to the Premier League it would appear that permanent signings are far more likely than anything temporary; it seems that flavour of the month has passed for now.
Do you think any Premier League teams could bring in an MLS loan-star?
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