Everton need Steven Pienaar
Unfortunately for Everton the one problem that affects their purchasing of new players remains a financial one.
July 23rd, 2012
With transfer speculation rife during the close season one piece of business Everton will be looking to complete this summer is the re-signing of Steven Pienaar from Tottenham. The South African International walked away from Goodison Park in January 2011 with dreams of playing Champions League football but failed to settle in London.
The 30 year old South African captain enjoyed a wonderful first spell on Merseyside after playing for Ajax and Borussia Dortmund previously. Having a player who can play on the right or left of midfield gave David Moyes the flexibility he needed and in turn provided Pienaar with the stability to play the best football of his career.
With his contract running down at Everton a move to Spurs seemed to provide him with the opportunity he craved at the highest level. Unfortunately for Pienaar he was injured shortly after arriving at his new club and on his return found opportunities limited. In January 2012 he returned to Everton on loan and was instrumental in the club finishing seventh in the table (and more importantly above Liverpool).
He appeared to lack the conviction and confidence at Spurs that he had demonstrated in his first spell with Everton and seemed to find it instantly on his return. He finished the season strongly and scored an impressive four goals and contributed six assists in only 14 league appearances. Following the sale of Mikel Arteta last summer the side was severely lacking some creativity and Pienaar’s return provided this in abundance.
The signings of Darren Gibson and Nikola Jelavic during the same transfer window finally gave Everton exactly what they had craved. At long last they had the goal scoring threat they had lacked and with Gibson marshalling the midfield along with Marouane Fellaini they had the stability that enabled Pienaar to flourish. Despite having precious little to spend in the transfer market David Moyes had yet again found a formula that suited his side.
Often in sport, and particularly football the stats can sometimes fail to back up the claims that one player makes such a big difference. However, in Pienaar’s case they actually back up the claim that he is arguably their most important player. His pass completion rate of 83% was significantly above the side’s overall success rate, he created more goal scoring chances than any other Everton player even though he only played for half the season and the side also won more games with him in the side.
Unfortunately for Everton the one problem that affects their purchasing of new players remains a financial one. It is well documented that the club are not one of the big spenders in the Premier League and it is believed that they have to confirm a couple of departures before they can complete a deal. It is understood that Joseph Yobo’s departure may have a huge bearing on the Pienaar deal.
Everton will be keen to build on their form towards the end of last season and there is no doubt that the presence Pienaar had was crucial. Although the deal is not as yet finalised it could prove to be yet another master stroke from David Moyes.
Written by Andy Hunter.