Steven Pienaar’s impressive loan spell at the end of last season was enough to remind Everton fans what they had been missing after the midfielder departed for Tottenham twelve months earlier.
The South African’s scintillating form, which included four goals and seven assists, was enough to convince David Moyes to make Pienaar his number one transfer target this summer.
A reported £5 million would be enough to convince Spurs to let the Goodison Park favourite return ‘home’ and despite their well documented lack of money, Moyes appears determined to get his man.
After an emotional goodbye on the final day of the 2011/12 season it appeared that Pienaar shared the desire to be reunited with Everton. However, following the dismissal of Harry Redknapp, the Bafana Bafana captain has made clear his wish to speak to Andre Villas-Boas before embracing the Toffees advances.
While a deal still seems likely, it’s a surprising U-turn from Pienaar and one that could prove costly for him.
In two spells Everton have given the 30-year-old the platform to play the best football of his career. The importance of which cannot be underestimated. Under Moyes he established himself as one of the Premier League’s most effective midfielders.
After failing to agree a new contract Pienaar left for Spurs and the promise land of the Champions League for a cut price £3 million. The disappointment felt by Everton fans was comparable only to the South African’s frustrating time at White Hart Lane.
Very much a bit part player under Redknapp, the midfielder was a shadow of the player who established himself as one of Everton’s best players in the Premier League era.
Yet given the resources at Spurs’ disposal, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Rafael Van der Vaart all fulfill roles Pienaar would like to, his lack of pitch time is somewhat explainable.
It is the quality of those ahead of him that makes Pienaar’s willingness to speak to AVB a curious choice. With Spurs set for another gruelling Europa League campaign the new boss would be glad to have someone of Pienaar’s quality.
Luka Modric is reportedly close to departing the Lane and the South African will be hopeful he can fill the void by the playmaker.
It’s a dangerous attitude from Pienaar. AVB has made clear of his intentions to bring his own players in and even if Modric leaves, there is no guarantee that he will replace him.
David Moyes and Everton are a team that Pienaar is comfortable with and more importantly one that he evidently enjoys playing in. He was a revelation last season and served as a timely reminder that he can be one of the Premier League’s most creative talents.
At 30 it is vital Pienaar is playing regularly while he still can and with that in mind a return to Merseyside is imperative.
It would allow him to display the energy, work rate and creativity that could cement his place as one of the Premier League’s top midfielders. To stay at Spurs could prove disastrous, another season warming the bench and the mesmerizing performance that wowed the ‘School of Science’ could well be a thing of the past.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!