Landon Donovan says David Moyes has made him a better player.
The American will end a second loan spell at Goodison Park after the FA Cup fifth round tie against Blackpool on Saturday.
Donovan has again sparkled for the Blues, amassing a veritable archive of assists during his short stay on Merseyside.
And the American says a lot of the credit for his impressive displays must go to his manager.
“I have a lot of respect for David Moyes,” Donovan told evertontv. “From the minute I spoke to him two years ago I knew he was someone I would get on well with.
“The best thing about him is that he doesn’t beat around the bush. If we have played well, he tells us, and if we have played badly he will tell us. If I’ve played well he will tell me, while if I haven’t and I need to do things differently, he will tell me.
“There has never been a time when I have taken things personally. He just has that way about him where you respect him and it has been an absolute pleasure to play for him.”
Donovan believes he is now a different player to the one who first won over the Evertonians two years ago – but undoubtedly a better one for his time with the Blues squad.
“I am a smarter player this time around – I see the game a bit better,” he said. “I don’t have the physical attributes to the extent that I did last time around and, as you get older, you have to make up for that in certain ways.
“But I feel like a wiser player and I was more ready for what was expected this time around and that helped me.
Donovan added: “There is no question this has made me a better player – these two trips to Everton – it has also made me a better person. Getting out of your comfort zone and doing something different isn’t always easy but it has made me a better player and person and I am absolutely happy with my decision to come back.”