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Where should Clint Dempsey go? Everton, Liverpool, Sunderland…

Jul 12, 2013, 12:03 PM EDT

Andre Villas-Boas, Clint Dempsey AP

Where will he go? Nobody knows.

After Clint Dempsey was reportedly transfer listed by Tottenham Hotspur yesterday evening, plenty of possible destinations for the US national team captain have already cropped up.

Whether or not Dempsey is for sale, that’s another matter.

But it does seem as though a move away from White Hart Lane would help get his career in the English Premier League back on track. Deuce scored just seven EPL goals in the 2012-13 campaign, compared to 17 at Fulham the season before.

Due to injury, lack of form and squad rotation, a solid run in the Spurs team has alluded him since he arrived for $10 million last summer. Dempsey and his agent have previously refuted any claims of a summer move, but he may not have a say in this switch.

But which EPL club would suit Dempsey best? That, my friends, is the hard bit.

Tottenham weren’t the only club interested in Deuce when he left Fulham on transfer deadline day last August. Liverpool and Everton were keeping close tabs on the situation right up until the window slammed shut.

Could the two Merseyside clubs be an option now? Everton seems more likely.

With Roberto Martinez molding a new look squad and aiming to play attacking soccer, Dempsey would fit the bill as an experienced attacker who has scored more than five EPL goals in each of his last six seasons. Coupled with assists and tireless work rate, Dempsey would get on well at Goodison Park. Plus Martinez has been said to admire US players in the past after his various stints on US soccer broadcasts as a pundit. Intriguing.

(MORE: Dempsey reportedly transfer listed by Spurs)

Liverpool could be a non-starter. Yes they were heavily linked with a move for the US forward last year, but Brendan Rodgers and his staff are looking for young talent to supplement the experience of Steve Gerrard et al., with their transfer policy altering significantly since Dempsey was on the radar.

Where else, you ask. Well, what about Sunderland? Dempsey could team up with his pal Jozy Altidore and American owner Ellis Short would rake in the money in shirt sales and other merchandise spin offs. It’s a win-win. But would manager Paolo Di Canio take kindly to it? I’m not sure. His abrasive attitude coupled with Dempsey’s confident swagger is a ticking time bomb. If the duo clash, a move to Sunderland could be a short lived experience for Dempsey.

Has anyone considered this. After not settling at Spurs, despite demanding a move away from Fulham, should Dempsey have stayed at Craven Cottage?

What’s that old saying? Something about the grass not always being greener… well, it could ring true here. Yes, Dempsey got to play for a club with a bigger profile but did it get him Champions League soccer? No. He played in the Europe League last season but he did that with Fulham during the 2009-10 season.

(MORE: Are Spurs putting the “For Sale” sign on Clint Dempsey?)

I’m not saying a move back to Fulham is the answer, and heck, the move to Spurs hasn’t been a disaster. Look at how well Dempsey has performed for the USA and he’s now their shining light and set to captain the Yanks at next summer’s World Cup.

Between now and then he needs to be at a club who value his attacking impetus and use him the right way. At Spurs he’s often playing in deeper roles and hasn’t really fit in with their counter-attacking style.

Wherever Deuce lands, if he does leave Spurs, I’m sure he will be firing on all cylinders for the US at the World Cup. But having a settled season in the EPL, for a club he’s happy at, is key.

Clearly his time at Spurs is coming to an end. But where next? That’s the $10 million question.

  1. manutebol - Jul 12, 2013 at 12:40 PM


    • mackemroker - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      The Mags stink on ice. SAFC all the way!

  2. emphraser - Jul 12, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    If Shad Khan goes through with his purchase I reckon Dempsey back to Fulham would emerge as a fairly safe bet, if not a lock. Reclaim the stateside market appeal and please the Cottage faithful in one fell swoop.

  3. midtec2005 - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Getting to play every day with Jozy is very intriguing for USMNT prospects. However I’m sure he wants to stay at Tottenham. If he can’t then any of these other choices would work out… but Fulham would make sense.

  4. charliej11 - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    There is only one reason to go to any of those places over MLS….$

    So where ever he can get the most of it, because none of those are going to win a thing.

    • mdac1012 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      I see Dempsey coming back to MLS one day, not just yet however. I think at 30yrs old he would view coming back to MLS as a step back at this point in his career. Playing in the CL I think is still his goal and is probably hoping to stay with Tottenham for a couple more seasons. That combined with the WC coming up, I would imagine he would want to play against the better competition of the EPL.

      • charliej11 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        Well of course the better talent in the EPL is always brought up. I assume that is what you meant, because “the competition of the EPL” is a joke.

        I believe that the increased talent of the EPL is more than offset by the joke of competition.
        In other words, Fulham finished in 12th, but was 11 wins and 17 losses….46 points back.

        Is that really where you want your striker ? IF you say yes, you need to have your head examined, because the correct answer is, NO, I want him playing in meaningful games.

      • mdac1012 - Jul 12, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        I want him playing against higher caliber talent, that’s what I mean by “competition.” After what transpired last year, it’s hard to imagine him going back to Fulham but even if he did, having to deal with higher caliber defenders game planning against him would better prepare him for the WC.

        I love MLS and would love to see Duece back in the league, sooner rather than later, I just don’t think it’s going to happen in the next few years.

  5. unclemosesgreen - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Everton really does look like a good spot for him – I can see him fitting in well playing forward with Pienaar and Fellaini – the interplay could be dazzling.

  6. jucam1 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    I don’t think Liverpool wants him, he’s not quite as good as he was a couple of years ago but still serviceable. I agree that Newcastle might be a fit, and maybe Everton but he might not always start there…. He could come back to the MLS and dominate the super weak competition, but this guy still has good form and unlike Altidore can be a real asset for an EPL side…. Wish him the best and hope he lands somewhere well suited for his skills

    • charliej11 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      Dumb comment.

      If Dempsey would “dominate the super weak competition”, why doesn’t he dominate CONCACAF WCup qualifying ?…with better teamates ?

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 13, 2013 at 3:10 PM

        I don’t think it’s a dumb comment at all. I feel confident that Dempsey would dominate MLS competition.

        7 goals in 12 games in CONCACAF. #2 all time in USMNT scoring.

        Even if you were correct, which I obviously don’t think you were, it’s mean and rude to call someone dumb on a matter of opinion.

  7. jucam1 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    I’m not trying to take shots at the MLS, I watch it too, i’m glad it’s progressing and in 10-20 years it should be an ok league. It’s just not even close in overall talent to the EPL, now if you want to say the best team in the MLS can keep up with the worst in the EPL then fine, but you’re kind of making my point…. And the reason why Clint doesn’t dominate in Concacaf is because he isn’t playing with the same level of teammates he has with Spurs, Spurs would rout this US side… If the US wasn’t in Concacaf and had to play in in Europe, SA, or even Africa i don’t think they would go to the WC… That being said the US has 2-3 world class players (5) if you add the goalies… And Clint is still one of them, i hope he goes to a good team for him. And I apologize if I hurt your feelings, I just thought some of these points were obvious

    • skidmose - Jul 13, 2013 at 8:58 AM

      You don’t have to apologize for stating the obvious. MLS is still seen as a minor league around the world and a place where older stars come to retire. That said, I think they are surprised by the level of competition once they get here. But to say that Dempsey should come back to MLS at this point in his career……………………..get real! He is a very good player still and needs the higher level of competition of the EPL to stay at that level. MLS is in his future, just not right now – he’s not old enough (just kidding all you MLS proponents).

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 13, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        I think they are surprised that they can’t step in and dominate even though they’re only in MLS because all other opportunities died off due to degradation of skills.

        But that says more about the curve of age and injury-related degradation than it says about MLS. Thierry Henry still seems constantly unmarked somehow when playing in MLS, doesn’t he?

        Aside from that I agree with every single thing you said.

  8. dstnce1500 - Jul 16, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    I think it’s safe to assume that Sunderland is probably out as an option for Client based on the recent news. (

    Unfortunately, keeping in mind the recent press release by his agent ( I think Clint will be stuck at White Hart Lane, relegated to Cup and Europa League duties only, which will severely hurt his fitness (and potentially his roster spot) for WC2014.

    Clint’s agent needs to find a top team, be it in the EPL, La Liga, Serie A, or the Bundesliga that is: (1) willing to shell out the $6M pounds that Tottenham wants for a transfer fee, and (2) will give him significant week in, week out first team minutes.

  9. wulfesam - Jul 31, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    Bundesliga anyone? If Dempsey really wants to chase Champions League soccer maybe he should join a higher placing Bundesliga outfit, like Bayer 04 Leverkusen or FC Schalke 04 where he will still get many chances to play. Given Schalke did finish fourth which means they will have to play in the qualifying round, but if it’s Champions League playing Dempsey wants he’ll get it. And still be playing with a tip notch team.

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