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Goalkeeper believes keeping midfielder is vital to success at Goodison Park

Tim Howard has urged Everton to do everything in their power to keep hold of key midfielder Steven Pienaar.

The American goalkeeper insists the South Africa international is a key part of the squad at Goodison Park and vital to their chances.

The future of the Toffees midfielder has been the subject of intense speculation, as the 28-year-old was linked with moves to a host of clubs during the summer.

With only a year left on his contract at Goodison Park, it is thought that Pienaar could be in line to make a move away from the club for nothing.

But Howard wants Pienaar to extend his stay and sign a new contract with Everton.

He told Sky Sports News: “I think everyone knows how I feel about Steven.

“He helps to make our team go and we're a much more successful side with him in it.

“I don't pretend to have the first idea about Steven and his contract issues but I want him to stay, everyone wants him to stay.

“But that's up to him and the club.”

Howard insists it is important Everton keep hold of their best players because it will help to attract even more quality to the blue half of Merseyside.

He said: “It's important for us to keep those core players happy and settled and keep them here for a long time.

“That's how we attract better top quality players, and that's how we move up the table and sustain ourselves in the European places every year.”

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