Sunderland manager David Moyes has revealed he will use Steven Pienaar’s experience if he is no longer good enough to be a regular starter for the club.
The 34-year-old former Bafana Bafana captain has been signed by the Black Cats on a one-year deal, although question-marks do remain about Pienaar’s durability.
The attacking-midfielder spent his last two seasons at Everton largely injured and made just three English Premier League starts over that period.
The former Bafana Bafana international was a star for Everton under Moyes in previous seasons, however, and it remains to be seen how well he can perform as he approaches his 35th birthday.
Nonetheless, Moyes is optimistic that he can recapture the kind of form that made him such a respected Premier League performer.
“Steven is someone who will help us keep the ball better. He has been a great player and he made Leighton Baines(Everton left-back) when he was at Everton,” Moyes told the Sunderland Echo.
He added, “He will do a lot for Patrick van Aanholt (Sundeland left-back). He’ll help him join in, get forward and get crosses in. If he does that job then he will be very good for Pat.”
However, Moyes concluded that Pienaar would be used differently if he wasn’t the same quality of player he was before; “He is only here on a one-year contract and we will give him every opportunity to show if he is as good as he was in his early days. If he is not, then we will use him for his experiences at different times.”
Sunderland’s midfield options has been decimated with injuries in recent weeks. Players such as Seb Larsson (knee injury), Jan Kirchhoff (hamstring strain and Lee Cattermole (hernia) have all been ruled out.