The Belgian has been a revelation since signing from Olympiacos and his link up play with fellow Belgian Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic has at times been a joy to watch.
With that in mind, it would be easy to suggest that the impact made by the 25-year old makes the annual loan of Donovan a luxury more than a necessity.
However, Everton still possess a squad high in quality, but lacking in quantity and one or two key injuries could really hamper the blues in their bid for European football.
It is widely regarded that David Moyes’ strongest side is a match for anyone, but eleven players alone doesn’t get you very far. The key to success in the best league on the planet is having the players available to mix it up when things aren’t going according to plan.
It is no coincidence that Manchester United score so many late goals, or that Manchester City won the Premier League in the last minute of the last game.
The clubs challenging for honours at the moment have the ability to completely change the direction of a game with one quality substitution.
As things stand, if Everton need a late goal the main trick Moyes has up his sleeve is to throw on Victor Anichebe in a bid to rough up the opposition defence and try and bully them into submission.
In fairness, Anichebe has made a positive start to the season and there is a time and place for such an approach (see Stoke’s recent visit to Anfield).
However, if Everton want to be competing for a top four spot by the time May comes around then it is essential that plan B is not the sole alternative available.
Donovan has the ability to unlock a defence with one pass, his through ball into the path of Anichebe to steal a late point at Villa Park last season proved that.
Also, the circumstances by which the American made his return seem a distant memory.
Bolton were the visitors when the 30-year old made his second debut on a windy evening at Goodison Park that saw the lowest home league attendance during Moyes’ tenure.
Tim Howard’s freak goal from inside his own box was as good as it got for the blues that night who succumbed to a woeful 2-1 defeat and it was clear that the Toffees were lacking in confidence.
Everton needed Donovan in that moment and he delivered.
He played his part in some much improved performances and was instrumental in the victory over newly crowned champions, Manchester City, claiming an assist for the only goal of the game.
This time around, Everton would most certainly not be reliant on the L.A Galaxy star. The craft of Steven Pienaar and skill of Mirallas, accompanied by the hardworking Steven Naismith and goals from Jelavic have seen the blues transform themselves into a much feared attacking outlet.
The January arrival of Donovan however would provide the side with a timely boost. A much healthier state of affairs when compared to the cry for help that saw him return last season. Moyes has always been open to a mid-season loan move and it would appear feasible to see the USA captain bring a friend with him from across the pond.
The Blue Kangaroo anyone?
Follow on Twitter @GaryMaidenEFC
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