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The South Africa international came back from a knee injury in October and played a starring role against Stoke City, his manager observing that he is returning to his peak

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes that Steven Pienaar is nearly back to his best after his impressive display against Stoke City.

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The South African returned in mid-October after spending six weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury and the Toffees boss is delighted with his progression.

The 31-year-old midfielder has made nine appearances this season and completed 88 per cent of his passes in the 4-0 thrashing of Stoke on Saturday.

"He's such a special footballer and what he brings to us into the way we play is quite unique," Martinez enthused to the Liverpool Echo. "Stevie's experience is a valuable part of his squad and it's real bonus to have him back at his best.

"Not many players have his appreciation of space and close control, or the quality in one-versus-one situations when he opens the spaces and allows other players to come in.

"He has that composure and time on the ball and slowly he's regaining his full fitness and he'll get back to his best."

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