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Villa to Man City? Giovinco to Chelsea? Why MLS loanees can decide title race

COMMENT: Could David Villa be the striker to step in at Manchester City should Sergio Aguero (again) breakdown? How about Steven Gerrard giving Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool a top four push?

And what could Sebastian Giovinco, in career best form, do for Arsenal or a lumbering Chelsea?

With the MLS's final round of the regular season underway, established, senior international class players are about to come on the loan market. Place the right player, at the right club and there's every chance the MLS could decide the destination of this season's Premier League title.

Villa, New York City FC's captain, has already talked about being flooded by loan offers in recent weeks. Drop him into Arsenal's setup and he'd be the fox-in-the-box Arsene Wenger has been shopping for. And without any long-term commitment, it would be a deal that would suit Wenger down to the ground. But with Manchester City holding the purse strings at NYCFC, if Villa is to finally grace the Premier League stage it is likely to be only in City's Sky Blue.

As much as a difference Villa could make at an Arsenal or Tottenham, where he'd be a perfect foil for Harry Kane, taking the Spaniard on would still benefit City. The scenario is now being discussed at the Etihad of Villa doing some training with Manuel Pellegrini's senior squad. And should Aguero fail to get beyond his hamstring problem, it'd be convenient having the Spaniard to call on come the New Year.

But what of Gerrard and a return to Liverpool? No doubt, Klopp has already extended an invitation to the LA Galaxy midfielder to use the Melwood facilities when he returns to Merseyside. But why can't both parties go a step further and entertain the prospect of a three month stint for Gerrard under a new manager and a style of play screaming out for a player of his passing range?

Premier League loans involving MLS players have had mixed results and local pundits generally look down their noses at the prospect. But six years ago, David Beckham walked into a skeptical (some say hostile) AC Milan locker room and before the end of that three month stint, such was his impact, the deal was extended to July. Why would the same be beyond Gerrard or Villa in England?

And even if they don't make the pitch, the value of having such an influence around the club can't be dismissed.

A loan stint is probably beyond Frank Lampard after his scratchy first season with NYCFC. But what impact could he make around Cobham if he is brought back into the fold by Jose Mourinho - simply just to train with the squad and use the gym? The club, the players and the manager are on their knees. Having a familiar, chirpy face knocking around the locker room would be a breath of fresh air given current circumstances.

But if you're looking for instant impact. A player you could parachute in and expect immediate return. You can't go beyond Sebastian Giovinco at Toronto FC.

You could see him working around Harry Kane at Tottenham. Or bouncing off Diego Costa at Chelsea. That nimble, buzzing striker Wenger is seeking? Giovinco would the ideal solution.

He couldn't get a game with Italy while on Juventus' books, yet now, thanks to his move to Canada, Giovinco's guaranteed a place in Antonio Conte's squad for next summer's Euros.

The Italian has 22 goals and 15 assists this season and that goal against New York Red Bulls has been seen around the world. It wouldn't matter if it was on a park against a bunch of kids (as Bestie would say), it would've been a great goal. There's no way Premier League managers up and down the country aren't thinking about taking Giovinco off TFC's hands for three months in January.

Chelsea have been chasing the 28 year-old since Andre Villas-Boas' time in charge. Arsenal are now being mentioned, along with Klopp's Liverpool and Spurs. If there's one player, coming from the other side of the pond, to shape the destiny of the title race, it's Giovinco.

Further down the table, we're sure to hear a lot about Fabian Castillo, FC Dallas' Colombian winger. Garry Monk's Swansea City, after the success of Jefferson Montero, are having a serious look at the 23 year-old. But should FC Dallas and MLS indicate a willingness to sell, Swans won't get a clear run at the attacking midfielder. A fee of £7-9 million has been mentioned for Castillo, such is his reputation in the 'States.

And all this without mentioning Kaka, back in Brazil's squad thanks to his form with Orlando City; Didier Drogba, who can't stop scoring for Montreal Impact; and Andrea Pirlo, still in Italy's Euros squad, still missed by Juventus and still going strong for NYCFC at 36 years of age.

Premier League managers needing a quick fix will be turning to MLS talent in greater numbers. Given the standard of player now running around in the US, never could an outside competition influence the Premier League as the MLS can this season.


INJURY TIME

Need an idea of the growing stature of MLS? Just consider the case of Carlos Vela, the Real Sociedad striker.

The Mexican, once of Arsenal, rejected a near £22 million move to West Ham United last summer to stay in San Sebastian. This season, in England, he's being linked with a return to the Gunners.

However, in the 'States and Mexico, there is a genuine belief that Vela's next move after David Moyes' La Real will be MLS.

Vela has asked Real Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay to allow him to leave in January, with talks already underway with MLS representatives. There is a real confidence that Vela will spurn all offers in Europe to move to the US in 2016.

Still only 26 and mentioned as a potential Barcelona target, it appears Vela's heart is set on a move to the 'States. He could walk into the starting XI of well over half the Premier League, but all signs are that the Chicago Fire or the San Jose Earthquakes will be his next destination.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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