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Major League Soccer players on loan

Following the news of Frank Lampard's loan move to Manchester City, Sports Mole looks at other MLS players that have had loan spells in Europe.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed this weekend that former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard will spend six months on loan with the Premier League champions.

The England international, who recently signed a two-year contract with the newly-formed MLS franchise New York City FC, is the latest player to make the temporary swap from America to Europe in order to maintain their fitness levels between seasons.

Sports Mole takes a look at some of those who have previously made the move:

Landon Donovan - Everton 2010 & 2012

United States international Landon Donovan became a fan favourite at Everton during his two loan spells at Goodison Park.

Initially joining the club at the end of the 2009 MLS season, Donovan featured in 13 games for Everton in 2010, scoring two goals and picking up the club's player of the month award for January.

Everton's US midfielder Landon Donovan waves to the crowd as his loan spell comes to an end after the English FA Cup 5th Round football match between Everton and Blackpool at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north-west England on February 18, 2012© Getty Images

Although the Premier League side failed to extend the winger's stay in 2010, he returned to the team two years later for another two-month stint.

While not on the scoresheet in 2012, Donovan set up Everton's goal during a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa and provided assists for both goals in a 2-1 victory over Fulham in the FA Cup.

Thierry Henry - Arsenal 2012

Thierry Henry left Arsenal in 2007 as their record goalscorer to join Barcelona, before moving on to New York Red Bulls three years later.

The Frenchman began training with the North London side in 2012 to keep his fitness levels up in the off-season before agreeing a two-month loan spell with the Gunners.

While many Arsenal fans were delighted to have the striker back in their ranks, there was concern among some neutrals that the ageing Henry's return could tarnish his reputation at the club.

However, Henry dismissed such concern when he came off the bench during an FA Cup tie against Leeds United to make his second Arsenal debut, scoring the only goal of the match.

He also scored the winning goal during the club's 2-1 win over Sunderland in his final appearance for Arsenal before returning to the Big Apple.

David Beckham - AC Milan 2009 & 2010

Unlike the majority of MLS players going on loan, David Beckham chose to head to Italy rather than the Premier League, spending two spells with AC Milan.

The former England captain was keen to return to Europe after the 2008 MLS season in order to boost his chances of impressing England manager Fabio Capello, although some cynics branded the move a marketing stunt.

The then-33-year-old impressed the Serie A side, resulting in them attempting to sign him on a permanent basis, but they failed to meet Galaxy's asking price.

David Beckham takes a free kick during his time with AC Milan on January 31, 2010© Getty Images

Beckham was back with the Rossoneri the following year, and played against former club Manchester United for the first time during both legs of a Champions League tie.

His 2010 stint was cut short though, as the Englishman suffered a torn left Achilles during a match against Chievo, ending his chances of featuring in the 2010 World Cup, and also preventing him from playing in the following MLS season.

Robbie Keane - Aston Villa 2012

Robbie Keane completed his move to Los Angeles Galaxy in 2011, but returned to England to train with Aston Villa the following January, before joining the club on loan.

In his first start for Villa, the Republic of Ireland international scored twice in a 3-2 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, while a goal against Newcastle United a couple of weeks later lifted him up to 11th on the Premier League all-time goalscorers list.

Keane featured in a total of seven matches for the Midlands club, scoring three goals before returning to help Galaxy win the MLS Cup in 2012.

Clint Dempsey - Fulham 2014

Like Henry, Clint Dempsey chose to return to a former club during his loan move, rejoining Fulham earlier this year, less than two years after leaving the Cottagers.

The Seattle Sounders striker made his second debut for the club during their FA Cup match against Norwich City, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Fulham's Clint Dempsey and Norwich's David Fox battle for the ball during their FA Cup third round match on January 4, 2013© Getty Images

Dempsey went on to feature in five matches during his two-month stint back in the Premier League, although he did not get on the scoresheet before his return to America.

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Gyasi Zardes #29 of Los Angeles Galaxy looks on during the International Champions Cup Third Place Match against AC Milan at Sun Life Stadium on August 7, 2013
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