American midfielder Emerson Hyndman joined English Premier League club Bournemouth in 2016, but is yet to make a league appearance in a season and a half. The 21-year old has played in three cup ties this season and spent a productive half-season with Scottish club Rangers in 2017, scoring four goals in 13 matches.
Despite showing up on the Cherries’ bench twice in December, it appears that Hyndman’s future – be it a long-term, permanent move or a short-term loan – will be with another club. According to the always interesting English rumor mill, a return to the Scottish Premier League may be in his future:
According to the Sun, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is set to let the 21-year-old leave on loan for the rest of the season in order to get some much-needed game-time under his belt. And the possibility of another spell at Ibrox is on the cards with manager Graeme Murty believing that Hyndman could slot straight back into his side - with good reason.
A follow-up story by The Daily Echo describes this rumor as “wide of the mark”, with a source claiming reports of a move to Rangers are “without foundation”.
However, ever-reliable American soccer reporter Kristian Dyer notes that there is mutual interest between Hyndman and “several” MLS clubs:
Emerson Hyndman has interest in a move to MLS. Several MLS clubs have checked in with him about a possible move. This is one to watch.— Kristian Dyer (@KristianRDyer) January 19, 2018
Some would consider a move “home” as a major step backward for the American international. There are a quite a few clubs in between the levels of mid-table Premiership and MLS that could surely use a young player of Hyndman’s caliber. However, it ultimately comes down to what is best for each individual on a case by case basis, an equation featuring variable levels of playing time, growth, and general comfort.
Hyndman would be an upgrade in the midfielder for most MLS squads, but it remains to be seen where he would land due to the league’s delightful player acquisition system featuring discovery claims and allocation orders. The logical choice would be a return to hometown FC Dallas, whose academy he briefly represented as a youth player before moving to Fulham in 2011.
Hyndman should still be considered a relatively young player with most of a long career ahead of him, but he desperately needs regular playing time in order to improve and reach his potential. He’s made two appearances for the U.S. men’s senior national team since making his debut in 2014, but hasn’t featured since 2016. If he’s going to establish his place in the center of the midfield and be a key player at the 2022 World Cup, then his club situation most likely needs to change.