Steven Pienaar shows Everton just how much the club means to him

Pienaar Everton

By announcing his playing days for South Africa are over, Pienaar will not be travelling to the African Cup of Nations in January, allowing him to play a full season in the Premier League.

Over the summer, it has been reported than the re-signing of Steven Pienaar was David Moyes number one target.

This was understandable, Pienaar had been a vital player to them during his first stint at the club, and in his loan spell at the end of the previous season, the South African star had shown that whatever had happened at Tottenham, he was still able to produce outstanding displays for Everton.

He was so good in that spell in fact, that Everton ended up paying more to sign the player than they had sold him for, despite his unhappy time in London.

The signing has proved as successful as everyone expected it would, with Pienaar linking with Baines down the left to form an excellent partnership that has been at the heart of Everton's fast start.

In 2012, no player in the Premier League has more assists than Pienaar's eight, and he has also contributed a couple of goals to the cause. He was treated poorly at Spurs, where he was often played out of position and never really got a chance to get a run in the side.

Pienaar was an odd player to sign and then not play, because he was a proven Premier League star at Everton, and was not an unknown quantity at all.

Pienaar has quickly put the experience behind him, and has now further committed himself to Everton by retiring from international football. It was a surprising step, Pienaar was the captain of the South African side, and they are the hosts of the upcoming African Cup of Nations.

He has cited the wearying nature of the travel involved, and it's contribution to injuries, as the main reasons for his retirement. It is a huge blow for his country, but their loss is very much Everton's gain. The Merseyside club has many players of quality, but Pienaar's shoes would have been tricky to fill.

Pienaar came through the ranks at Ajax along with some of the most talented players of his generation, Ibrahimovic and Sneijder were amongst his contempories there. The talent he displayed at that time has only really been shown at Everton in his career since.

Now retired from his country, Pienaar can settle back into the club he clearly loves, and hit his best form again in the last few years of his career. If he can help Everton break into the top four this season, then all memories of his tricky spell at Spurs can be forgotten.

image: © nicksarebi

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