During his time at Everton, David Moyes has developed a reputation for the bargain buy. He has turned Everton from a relegation battling side into a team who challenge for the European places season after season and he has done so without breaking the bank at Goodison Park. Some of his best bargains involve the transfers of Louis Saha, Phil Jagielka and Tim Cahill, all of whom were signed for a combined fee of under £10 million.
The South African Steven Pienaar is another excellent example of Moyes’ shrewdness in the transfer market. The midfielder signed for the club back in 2008 after impressing on a loan deal and cost the Merseyside club a mere £2 million. In comparison to the signings of other Premier League midfielders (take Shaun Wright-Phillips to Chelsea for example), Steven Pienaar is a snap your hand off scenario.
The Johannesburg-born midfielder began his career in his native South Africa with South African club Ajax Cape Town before moving to Holland to join the Dutch legends Ajax. Pienaar turned heads across Europe with several impressive displays for the side and eventually sealed himself a move to the German side Borussia Dortmund as a replacement for Tomas Rosicky. Things however didn’t work out in Germany and Pienaar journeyed to England and has never looked back since.
Pienaar has underlined his worth to the Everton squad over the last year in the absence of Mikel Arteta. Ever the magician, Everton struggled for sometime without the Spaniard and whilst they still miss his technical ability, Pienaar has stepped up to fill the creative void left by Arteta. His pace, battling work effort and vision has made him a success at Goodison Park and he his presence has been sorely missed this season during the South African’s spells on the treatment table.
Since returning from victory Pienaar has been a key figure in Everton regaining form and has helped to lead their charge up the table. He was instrumental in the victory over Burnley and his input in the impressive 2-2 draw at the Emirates was priceless as Everton came agonizingly close to a historic win over Arsenal.
Pienaar has become a popular figure at Goodison Park and for a poultry £2 million it is hard to see how the midfielder was not drafted into the Premier League sooner. A tireless worker with a creative mind, Pienaar would be a benefit to most teams in the league and he has become invaluable to the Merseysiders cause.
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