I”m a better player than I was two years ago, says Donovan as striker makes Everton return
Welcome back: Donovan is unveiled at Everton
Everton loan signing Landon Donovan believes he is a better player now than he was in his first spell with the Toffees.
The United States international has returned for a second two-month spell, having done the same in the early part of 2010.
He played 13 matches and scored twice but the American, who turns 30 in March, is confident he comes back to the Barclays Premier League a better player.
“I am really excited to get back here and play,” he said.
“Since being here first time I”ve played in a World Cup and had another couple of years” experience so I feel more prepared this time.
“I know exactly what I am getting into and exactly what is expected of me and hopefully I can fit in.
“Sometimes I think life is about expectations. Last time there was zero expectations so I can only make up from that.
“I understand there is some level of pressure and expectation but all footballers deal with that.
“I don”t worry about that, I want to enjoy my two months here and the way I play I think I can help the team.”
Donovan captained Los Angeles Galaxy to the MLS Cup this year and had only a fortnight”s break before returning to light training as he knew a move to England was pending.
Donovan admitted if he could have come back 12 months ago he would have but after playing at the World Cup in South Africa he felt he needed to use the MLS off-season to recuperate.
“Last year the manager spoke to my agent and asked if I wanted to come back and I really did but my body was pretty beat up and I didn”t think it was the right thing to do,” he added.
“It was whether it made sense. The last thing you want to do is go somewhere when you are not healthy and fit because it doesn”t help you or the team.
“It was difficult to say no but back then I always hoped I”d get another chance and fortunately this year I was able to do it.
“I want to come in and help and you never know what happens but I want to come in and do my job.”
Although he is ineligible for the New Year”s Day trip to West Brom he could come into contention to face Bolton the following week.
As the American, who had his first training session today, is familiar with the club he does not feel he will have any problems slotting back in straightaway.
“To be honest in 2010 when I got here everyone was nice and excited to have me here and I felt like I was home, everyone felt like family,” he said.
“It is an easy place to come to. The word that comes to mind is family.
“You walk around the place and everyone is friendly and are excited to be a part of this club. It is infectious and it is hard not to fall into that.”
Manager David Moyes wants to get Donovan up to speed as quickly as possible to add some much-needed creativity to the side.
“We”re pleased to have him back and he looked fine in training,” said the Scot.
“He doesn”t carry any weight and looks in good shape so hopefully we”ll try to give him a good four or five days” training and see how he is for next week.
“It is hard to judge on one morning but we will get him up and running.
“We have a great set of boys who will make it easy to settle in. “Creatively we hope he will make us some goals but he is not a prolific goalscorer.”