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American goalkeeper urges the winger to stay with the Toffees after a successful loan spell back on Merseyside helped David Moyes' side finish four points above rivals Liverpool

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has pleaded with influential midfielder Steven Pienaar to return to Goodison Park after his loan spell came to an end.

The South Africa international came back to David Moyes’ side on a six-month loan deal in January, having left the club to join Tottenham in January 2011 but struggled to break into Harry Redknapp's team.

"We've got to get Steven back. This is his home, and second time around, you can really feel that," Howard told the Liverpool Echo.

"[The players] have handcuffed him to the showers.

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"He's not going back down to London. We tease Steven all the time. He has to stay at Everton. This is his home. He knows it, we know it.

"Hopefully the business side of things can get ironed out and he can be back."

Pienaar and Everton have been in impressive form since his return, losing just two games in 2012 and finishing seventh in the Premier League, four points above neighbours Liverpool.

The winger also chipped in with several crucial goals for the Toffees, including the opener in a 2-0 win over Chelsea and the leveller in a dramatic 4-4 draw with Manchester United, which helped swing the title race back in favour of Roberto Mancini’s victorious Manchester City.

And Howard is hopeful that, Pienaar aside, a couple more new recruits could help Everton reach the next level.

"We’re probably a couple of players away, but I’m sure every team will be saying that," he continued.

"Newcastle have done that. They have five or six guys in attack that can scare the life out of you.

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"Seventh is good and we need to finish higher, but from where we were, we can feel proud of ourselves.

"We’ve shown that we’ve got it in us if we keep our foot on the gas for the whole season. I think we can do some really good things and everyone’s optimistic at this point."

And whilst Howard is keen to let the manager get on with his job in the transfer window, he added that he could give him a helping hand with his USA international colleagues.

"I’m going to be on the phone to Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan and I’m going to try my best," he joked.

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