Daily transfer roundup (Monday, June 15)
Donovan leaves behind a great legacy with the Galaxy having recently lead them to his fourth MLS Cup title with the franchise and his sixth overall – the most titles won by any player.
However, it remains to be seen how LA will look to replace him. An attacking option is set to be added to the squad before the start of the new MLS season in March. Though they may wait until the summer if the right name is available then.Embed from Getty Images
Much of the post-Donovan chat has been on the permanent move to MLS for Erick Torres, but he has gone back to parent club Chivas Guadalajara in Mexico to help with their ongoing relegation struggle.
Bruce Arena may have to adjust his formation due to the loss of Donovan, which could expand the potential list of suitors.
His current 4-4-2 formation has seemed to work for some time now, but the loss of Donavan leaves a huge hole in the Galaxy squad.
Here are three potential replacements:
Darren Bent (Striker) – Aston Villa (England)Embed from Getty Images
England international striker Darren Bent has been somewhat of a forgotten man since Paul Lambert took over the reigns at Villa. And so Bent could do with a new challenge after seeing his starting place handed to Belgium front man Christian Benteke.
He could be a great partner for MLS MVP Robbie Keane, having previously played at Tottenham Hotspur as well as at Villa together. But this would mean re-positioning Gyasi Zardes from the Galaxy attack to accommodate Bent.
Ronaldinho (Attacking Midfielder) – Querétaro F.C. (Mexico)Embed from Getty Images
The World Cup winning Brazilian needs no introduction and a move to MLS giants LA Galaxy could be the swansong he deserves.
Ronaldinho can operate on either flank, through the middle or up front so he would be a suitable replacement for Donovan in terms of versatility. However, he doesn’t posses the defensive qualities of Donovan and so Zardes could be forced out wide to accommodate Ronaldinho’s arrival too.
Andrea Pirlo (Midfielder) – Juventus (Italy)Embed from Getty Images
Pass-master Pirlo is a World Cup winner like Ronaldinho and would further strengthen the Galaxy midfield. Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho could benefit by having Pirlo just in behind them to give them more freedom to attack.
He’s been linked with a move recently and the potential signing of Pirlo could would allow Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes to continue their lethal strike partnership, while giving them a player who can provide service from deeper.
Who do you think LA Galaxy will replace Landon Donovan with?
Major League Soccer MVP and MLS Cup winner Robbie Keane had a wonderful season, capped off by scoring the winning goal in the final but he has a lot to do for the upcoming season to maintain his brilliant form.
The loss of the now-retired Landon Donovan will certainly have an impact on Keane’s performances, because as we know teams feared playing against the deadly duo but they can now pay more attention to Keane.
The 34-year-old forward will need to continue his successful partnership with the impressive Gyasi Zardes, who only netted three less than the Irishman last term.Embed from Getty Images
It will be interesting to see who the Galaxy bring in as a replacement for Donovan, with some reports suggesting Ronaldinho could be on his way to MLS.
With many players we know age is just a number, Keane will turn 35 during the next season but given his hunger and desire for the game it shouldn’t impact his performances at all.
He showed throughout last season that he still has that killer instinct in front of goal – a trait that he will never lose. With that in mind, teams will be fearing him possibly even more so in the upcoming season due to confidence being as high as ever.
We can expect Keane to be heading someway towards his 20-goal tally of this season again next term and unless any other outside factors hinder him such as injuries he should have no problem reaching his targets.
His wealth of experience will again help him no end, and the displays we saw from Keane last season were as good as when he was at his best with Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.
The Galaxy will be going into the new season full of confidence and will believe they can beat anybody despite the loss of Donovan, and they’ll want to push on and continue making history with another MLS Cup title in 2015.Embed from Getty Images
The departure of Donovan could be a blessing in disguise for Keane as the Galaxy fans will be looking to him as their standalone cult hero, and we know that fans in MLS certainly get behind their players.
He is one of the most experienced players in MLS and will go down in the same category as Thierry Henry when he retires too.
We excitedly await the new campaign and are looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds.
Will Robbie Keane impress again next season in MLS?
Ronaldinho has played in homeland Brazil and Mexico since moving away from European football he has been linked with playing MLS on several occasions, though this time it seems to make sense.Embed from Getty Images
Los Angeles is the sort of place a star of Ronaldinho’s calibre would want to play and with Donovan set to retire after the Galaxy’s playoff run comes to an end, a move to bring in the former Barcelona and AC Milan star would be sensible.
He guarantees excitement and skill and would be able to fill the designated player spot Donovan is set to free up when he hangs his boots up within the next few weeks.Embed from Getty Images
Ronaldinho is thought to be unsettled in Liga MX despite scoring three goals and picking up one assist in eight appearances so far, and he could end his two-year contract very early.
He was also linked with LA when David Beckham left the club but it is surely his last chance to make the move to the fastest growing league in the world.
At 34 his best years may be behind him, though his marketing value is something that will appeal to MLS and the fact that his Brazilian friend Kaka is also joining the league next season could also help his decision.
Ronaldinho continues to showcase skills with ‘shark attack’ volley (via FNTV on YouTube):
Trying to replace Landon Donovan was never going to be easy but if the Galaxy have wrapped up a deal for Ronaldinho already, then they deserve great credit. Though it remains to be seen if the reports are accurate.
Would Ronaldinho be a good replacement for Landon Donovan at LA Galaxy?
With Brazilian legend Ronaldinho now a free-agent, a move to Major League Soccer is a real possibility after years of speculation.
The 34-year-old left Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro on Monday and is set to decide where his next move will be by next week with offers from all over the globe.
New York Red Bulls have been linked with a move and they should seriously consider making one as the long-term future’s of Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry remain up in the air.
Cahill could go home to play in Australia at the end of the current season while Henry is believed to be considering retirement, as Red Bulls head of global soccer Gerard Houllier suggested on Saturday.
Ronaldinho would bring in a world-class playmaker and a huge name to help the team on and off the field, something increasingly important with New York City FC set to enter the league with a bang next year.Embed from Getty Images
A problem would be that the Ballon d’Or winner does not speak English, and this would hinder his marketing potential for the franchise, though his footballing ability cannot be questioned.
Red Bulls officials are believed to have met with Ronaldinho’s representatives during the World Cup in Brazil but did not speak about a potential move.
They may now be back in contact though with the former Barcelona and AC Milan star available as a free-agent.
His age would not be a problem with his agent and brother Roberto Assis claiming that he could play “until he’s 42”.Embed from Getty Images
Henry joined as a 32-year-old and is still tearing defence’s apart at 36, so Ronaldinho’s arrival would undoubtedly make the team better as an attacking unit.
His arrival could even convince Henry to stay for another season as the pair played together at Barcelona in the 2007-08 season.
Should New York Red Bulls go all out for Ronaldinho?