Everton's Phil Neville insists Landon Donovan will be missed after he returned to LA Galaxy following the conclusion of his loan spell.
Skipper believes USA ace was even better second time around
Everton captain Phil Neville insists Landon Donovan will be missed after he returned to LA Galaxy following the conclusion of his loan spell.
It was the second time the United States international had linked up with the manager David Moyes' side during the close season in Major League Soccer.
Neville knows there were huge expectations on the 29-year-old's shoulders and the versatile veteran believes he performed even better than during his first spell.
Donovan was unable to feature in Everton's FA Cup success over Blackpool on Saturday and Neville has conceded the American was 'devastated' to miss out on a farewell appearance.
"Last time he came here, he lit the place up," Neville said of Donovan to the club's official website
"He came back this time a couple of years older and with more expectation on his shoulders.
"He was really on a hiding to nothing and I think this time he's performed even better.
"I know how he felt when he had to miss the game. He was devastated.
"It was just nice that he could thank the fans for a tremendous two months. He was a breath of fresh air around the place.
"He immersed himself in the whole club - not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well. We will miss him."
Saturday's win means Everton have a quarter-final clash against Sunderland on the horizon and Neville has warned fans not to think about Wembley just yet.
"You can't get too ahead of yourself," he continued. "I know the supporters are probably thinking that we're one game away from Wembley but all we need to concentrate on is the quarter-final game.
"If you start thinking about the final or the semi-final, you get knocked out. The FA Cup is like that and it's why it's the best competition in the world."