How is this one time £5m Chelsea target getting on in the MLS?

Hearts Warm Up

Andrew Driver is currently with Houston Dynamo ... and suffering from the same sort of problems that halted his British career.

He was once one of England’s most sought after talents on more than one front.

It resulted in Burnley making an approach for the player that was flat-out rejected as well as Coventry City’s £1 million bid in 2009. In 2010 Burnley reignited their interest while the likes of Wigan Athleticand Middlesbrough were also said to be interested.

Even FC Twente of Holland’s Eredivisie confirmed they had made a bid of £3 million for the winger in 2010.

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But the biggest interest during that time came from Chelsea. Roman Abramovich reportedly met with Vladimir Romanov to discuss a possible £5 million transfer for the player in order to boost the clubs home-grown player quota. Nothing ever came of the deal and that could have been down to what was starting to become a worrying tendency to get injured.

It wasn’t just club teams that fought over the player. England and Scotland both wanted him to choose their respective nation as the country he would represent. The Oldham-born winger had been a Scotland schoolboy before playing for the England under-21’s for the one and only time in 2009.

Andrew Driver, formerly of Hearts, is the player in question. The direct left-winger had caught the eye at the Edinburgh club for his positive style and was a major factor in the clubs continual efforts as Scotland’s ‘third club’.

But where is he now?

Despite the apparent international tug-of-war to get him playing for either England or Scotland he has not represented either, after injury ravaged his career.

He was snapped up by Houston Dynamo in February 2013 on loan for the rest of the season. When his contract at Hearts expired in June he signed on permanently at the club.

At first things seemed good at Houston. He became a regular, playing 90 minutes on most occasions and scoring a winning goal against LA Galaxy in May. But in July he suffered an Achilles injury against Chicago Fire, and has since found it difficult to get back into the side, playing just 90 minutes in the seven games he has featured since.

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Houston now have a battle on to make the play-offs, as they, Philadelphia Union, New England Revolution, Chicago Fire and Montreal Impact all do battle for the final three spots from the Eastern Conference.

For Driver he is once again finding himself in a similar situation to the one he did when a Hearts player. He burst onto the scene, impressing early on and receiving many plaudits - before suffering continual niggling injuries he struggled to recover from - and watched his standing in the first team drop from the medics table.

Tonight sees Houston take on Panamanian outfit Arabe Unido in the CONCACAF Champions League, which may just afford him the opportunity to get some first-team action under his belt … and not let his MLS adventure go the same way it did in Scotland.

image: © daniel.richardson0685

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