Pienaar deal pivotal


The prospective permanent return of Steven Pienaar to Everton is, on the face of it, a pretty straightforward deal. But, football being football, things are never that easy.

The bare bones of the story are that Tottenham paid around £2.5m when Everton were desperate to cash in before Pienaar’s contract ran out and now want £6m to send him back, all of which seems like good business for Spurs. Pienaar’s original reason for wanting to leave Everton had been the big wage differential between himself and co-midfielder Mikel Arteta. Quite how big a gap isn’t known, but Arteta apparently took a pay cut from £70k to £60k/wk when joining Arsenal. Furthermore, although much of the transfer dealing at Spurs was said to be out of Redknapp’s hands, the Pienaar deal was said to be very much a “Harry” and Daniel Levy went along with it because the outlay was relatively modest for such a top player. Allegedly, Levy was less than impressed when it didn’t work out and Pienaar was shipped back to Goodison on loan in order to defray some of his wage costs. Once back on Merseyside, and earning more money than when he’d left, love and harmony were restored until Spurs slapped on the price tag, a figure not unrelated to the original fee plus the South African captain’s wages while at White Hart Lane. Everton are not exactly awash with money at present, but both clubs prepared to haggle.

Then everything went pear-shaped. Redknapp was sacked and Moyes was in the frame. Now Pienaar put the brakes on the deal; undying love for Everton was one thing but if Moyes went to Tottenham…….? With Villas-Boas now confirmed as the new boss, Pienaar enquired about his potential future in Edmonton and the response left him underwhelmed and anxious to sign on the dotted line once the transfer fee is fixed.

The price is important to Everton, not least because Hugo Rodallega is set to leave Wigan. On the face of it, he would appear to be beyond Everton’s budget, but they do have a few aces in the hole. Firstly, their wage bill is more manageable since Arteta, Saha, Bilyaletdinov, Drenthe and others have left the club. Secondly, getting Steven Naismith as a free agent from Rangers was something of a bonus, re-uniting the Scot with Nikica Jelavic at little cost. Most importantly, Roberto Martinez is an admirer of Victor Anichebe and would be prepared to do a part-exchange deal. Moyes has been reluctant to let “Big Vic” go in the past, but Naismith, like Anichebe, can play as striker or winger and whether Rodallega arrives or not, Anichebe could be surplus to requirements and pave the way for a permanent deal with Landon Donovan. All of which brings us back to Pienaar. Another reason the Toffees need Pienaar is to encourage Leighton Baines to stick with the club; the pair work brilliantly together and the feeling is that if Everton can actually start next season in August and not the customary November, a challenge for a European place is not beyond them, something that would keep Baines onside.

From the Tottenham point of view, securing Adebayor and providing AVB with a war chest is a priority, so slimming the squad by selling peripheral players helps considerably. All of which means that the deal will go through next week, Everton paying around £4.5m with gritted teeth.

By Rob Macardle, 7 Valleys Media & Management ©2012

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  1. Money grabbing li'l c**t! lol Liked what I saw when he played at Goodison (prior to Spurs switch) but just couldn't quite keep up at our game.Which surprised me as he is a real grafter with Everton and gets on the scoresheet with assists to boot.Perhaps he was just another product of 'Arrys infamous 'selective' man management skills.Probably!

  2. I'd keep pienaar. I'm sure that AVB will have have a better appreciation of a good squad than Harry did and will therefore look to utilise ALL our quality players as we look to compete in all the competitions we enter. For me, pienaar could play in the modric position, link and dictating play while also making the occasional run from deep to get into the penalty area and maybe nicking us a goal or two.

  3. I have never read before today such an accurate account of what is going on at Everton. Usually when fans comment outside their club they are very inaccurate as i’m sure you have experienced. Well done to the writer and good luck to Spurs (Hopefully without Pienaar) Up the Toffees!

    • I'm also an Everton fan and was equally impressed by the writer's (clearly a Spurs fan) extensive and accurate knowledge of Everton's transfer plight and recent history. I do think Landon Donovan is a bridge too far he's 30 and will command a high transfer fee and high wages. And with Fletcher, Pienaar (possible) and Rodallega for Big Vic…as we as existing staff in Osman, Gyeue and Coleman there are options.

      As for Spurs there are plenty of players who probably need moving on. From an outsiders point of view a lot of talented players were recruited by Spurs that didn't perform – Bentley, Pienaar, Kranjar, Jenas and Dos Santos. I think for Pienaar it was never going to work, Spurs under Happy Harry operate a system of attacking down the wings with pace going round players, like Lennon and Bale…however this is not Pienaar's game of his strength. His strength is getting the ball left pulling a little trick, making room then picking out a pass (usually Baines) – he very rarely runs at the defence.

  4. Interesting stuff. Only bit that's definitely wrong is:

    "Most importantly, Roberto Martinez is an admirer of Victor Anichebe and would be prepared to do a part-exchange deal".

    Rodellega is a free agent – Wigan don't own him – so he's not theirs to exchange. I understand Wigan are deffo interested, but the moves of Rodellega and Anichebe are note dependent on each other whatsoever.


  6. Everton can't & won't pay 4.5m. This will get messy because I expect teams like qpr, villa & Sunderland to get involved as well so you'll have clubs inflating the price that he has no interest in playing for

  7. The guy is 30. There will be no financial return on him once his contract expires. Everton won’t pay an inflated figure; and Spurs won’t want to keep a player on their books earning 70k pw who doesn’t want to play for them. Everton are capable of getting Rodallega and Donavon. One year on and Everton are unlikely to offer more than they sold him for. Someone is going to be unhappy.

  8. I heard his assault trial had been put back to September. Is he still in South Africa? Is he allowed to leave? Presumably, he has to attend pre-season training at either Spurs or Everton, which all kickes off next week. I'd like him to stay and fight for his place, at Spurs – but can fully understand him wanting to return to Goodison, where he is guaranteed first-team football and cult-like adulation. I suspect this won't drag on and that he will go for anything between £3.5M – £4.5M. To PHJJ, I don't think the question is "Who would they replace him with for £4.5M?" The money will just go into the transfer pot that AVB has to work with. It might cost £8M to replace him – but we bought VDV for £8M and have him priced at £10M with at least two clubs interested in him. We sold Corluka for £6M and "replaced" him with Zeki Fryers for a soon-to-be-decided Tribunal figure not exceeding £4M. Furthermore, he earns £70K per week at Spurs and it is not a certainty that a replacement would command that much. All of that said, I also liked the suggestion from Siggy 28, suggesting a central role for Pienaar, as a playmaker. He might lack a little of Modric's finesse – but there's no doubting his ability to make and score goals.

    What I've never understood, though, is how Everton have gone from one of the biggest Clubs, in England, to a club that more or less has to darn it's old socks. Nine-times Champions, FA Cups, European football…how come you're skint? I mean, it's never seemed like a club that wastes money and your stadium, although old, is still the nonth biggest club stadium in the country and holds almost 4000 more than White Hart Lane. What has happened? Under the circumstances, Moyes is not only incredibly loyal – but a genius, to boot.

  9. Good article. I think he will leave Spurs with a deal being made eventually with Everton getting him on the drip. He is not happy on the bench and I can't see you lot giving him the regular spot his tallents deserve. Come home lad. You know it makes sence. By the way, I think AVB will be a great hit at Spurs – his motivation will be off the scale. Good luck next season

  10. As a THFC supporter I don't want him to leave as I feel that he could be a backup to whoever fills Modric's spot (yes I thought that he was that good so tell me I am wrong) i teh centre.

    What amde me love him even more was his supposed smack to the face of a politicina's son in SA.
    Any of you who have lived in Africa will know that such sons walk around as though they are god's gift to man(and woman)kind and usually well deserve far more than one punch. This is becasue they form p[art of the burgeoning elite class in most African nations (purtely becasue money chases politicians everywhere but especially so in Africa)

    So, could he do this you Evertonians?
    If he cannot then I hope that he goes back to you, but not as sour grapes but as you need him and despite you nicking 2 titles from us (63 & 87) I hold you in far higher esteem than the bindippers not far from you.


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