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LA Galaxy legend Donovan backs decisions of Gerrard, Pirlo and co.

Landon Donovan is behind the choices of Major League Soccer's top names to forego winter loans in Europe.

As has been customary in seasons past, Designated Players from various MLS clubs have returned to the leagues they rose to prominence in to keep ticking over during the North American offseason.

This year, LA Galaxy star Steven Gerrard, New York City FC pair Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard and Toronto FC ace Sebastian Giovinco have all been linked with loan returns to England and Italy but are expected to stick with their respective clubs for pre-season training which Donovan believes is the right decision.

"You have to take it more seriously now," said Galaxy and USA legend Donovan, who had two separate loan stints with Everton.

"There is more money involved, more attention paid to it and the fans actually genuinely care more now.

"That is a good sign [that players are ruling out moves]," he said. We are not naive and we know we have a long way to go but we are trying to get there.

"We have foreign players who care and want to come and make a difference, which is great. But we are also trying to develop our own players and produce players who can play on the world level."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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