Robert Martinez hails unique Everton star Steven Pienaar

The South African has been blighted by injuries of late but is close to making a return.

Everton winger Steven Pienaar is a unique player that improves the club’s collective ability according to Roberto Martinez, who told The Liverpool Echo that the Merseyside outfit must be patient with the returning star.

The South African midfielder has struggled with debilitating injuries of late and has not stepped out for the Toffees in 2015-16 as yet.

However, Pienaar is making progress in his mission to return to the first-team fold and should be available to the Spanish coach before too long.

Despite this, Martinez has urged the Toffees faithful to be patient with the African star as he will need time to get back to his best.

“Sometimes you get into a wrong momentum and wrong dynamic and the more you want to get back, you get a little bit of a set-back and you push your body even more,” Martinez told The Liverpool Echo.

“And then that develops a chain of effects where everything goes against you.

“Unfortunately, Stevie has been away from feeling happy, feeling like a footballer and feeling as though he can enjoy his football and we need to help him.

“Now, we are being extra cautious with his recovery and giving him extra time to give him a good period of adaptation.

“We will have to give him enough time to get back to match fitness.

“But, as we know, Stevie is a unique footballer within our squad and we need to get him fit because the margin we can improve, with him in the squad, is huge.

“So we are really looking forward to him having a good exercise tonight and we will build it up slowly.

“We all sympathise with the tough period he’s had to go through.”

Pienaar has been an important player for Everton over the years and his return to fitness will be a real boost for the Merseyside club. He returned to Goodison Park following a botched spell at Tottenham and is a favourite amongst the fans.

The veteran will compete for a starting berth with the likes of Steven Naismith, Aaron Lennon, Kevin Mirallas, Arouna Kone and Gerard Deulofeu, with competition for places on the flanks tightly contested.

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