Everton release South African veteran Pienaar


London (AFP) – Former South African international Steven Pienaar saw his second spell at Premier League side Everton come to an end on Friday when he was released by the club.

The 34-year-old, who burst onto the European club scene when he featured in the star-studded Ajax side that won two league titles in 2011/02 and 2003/04, suffered from a spate of injuries in the past two campaigns and played just 17 games.

The 61-times capped attacking midfielder, who returned to Everton in 2012 after an unsuccessful one year stay at Spurs, had enjoyed a highly successful first spell at the club and was player of the season for 2009/10. 

Everton also released two 35-year-old veterans in English duo Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert.

Osman, capped twice in 2012, struggled to make the first team last season whilst Hibbert had only played in 20 matches in the last four campaigns having lost his place to talented Irish fullback Seamus Coleman.

Everton look set to name Dutchman Ronald Koeman as manager when he returns from vacation to replace Roberto Martinez who was sacked before the final game of last season.

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