Baines overjoyed by Pienaar return

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Leighton Baines showed his delight at Steven Pienaar's return to Everton by hailing him the best player he has ever played with.

The South African midfielder returned to Goodison Park on loan from Tottenham Hotspur for the rest of the season on deadline day, and was immediately thrown into action in the 1-1 draw away at Wigan on Saturday.

Pienaar left the Toffees for Spurs in January 2011 in search of Champion League football. But, after an unhappy year at White Hart Lane, where injury and strong competition for places restricted him to just eight league appearances, the 29-year-old will be relieved to be back playing regularly again.

And Baines believes the move will also benefit the Merseyside club, who face Chelsea next in another tough Premier League test for David Moyes' side.

He told The Liverpool Daily Post: "I have been texting him all the time, trying to get him back.

"I am made up to have him. He makes a massive difference to us. When he trained for the first time on Friday, he changed training.

"He is probably the best player I have ever played with. Just his ability to take the ball in any situation, he never loses the ball and the worst case is he wins you a foul if he is struggling.

"He is such an intelligent player."

Despite not starting a Premier League game since May, the 29-year-old completed the full 90 minutes at the DW Stadium.


And Baines added: "The shift he has put in after not playing very often and training once is unbelievable. He gives everything.

"When it breaks down he is not the type to take his rest there, he will get back and help out as well."

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Steven Pienaar

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