Everton's Pienaar out of Palace friendly

Everton’s new signing Steven Pienaar will not be able to play in the friendly against Crystal Palace tomorrow despite having to return to Germany to acquire a visa to allow him to start his UK career.

After travelling to Dusseldorf today in the hope of speeding up the process, the paperwork still has not been completed in time for him to play at Selhurst Park.

South African Pienaar – on loan for a season from Borussia Dortmund – was unable to play in Tuesday night’s friendly with Werder Bremen as he had not been granted a visa and flew back to Germany to secure an appointment today to rectify the matter.

But the midfielder, 25, will have to wait a while longer for his Blues bow as the visa could not be issued as quickly as Everton had hoped.

They now expect everything to be ironed out early next week and that Pienaar can at least be in David Moyes’ plans for the Barclays Premier League opener against Wigan next Saturday.

Following his move to Goodison, the wide midfielder linked up with his new team-mates in Los Angeles for the remainder of the pre-season tour of the US and assistant manager Alan Irvine has been impressed by what he has seen so far.

Irvine said: “He was an Ajax player and that is a big compliment.

“Steven is a very good footballer, lively and aware. He is very good technically and the fans will enjoy watching him play. He is certainly somebody I am looking forward to having around and working with.”

He added: “We were absolutely desperate for Steven to play against Palace. He can play but he is not a winger, he uses the ball well and is very quick.

“He is more a Mikel Arteta, Leon Osman type of player who can play in the centre of midfield or just off the main striker.

“He is versatile and very adaptable and, when you have a small squad like ours, that will be very handy for us. He has looked very good in training.”

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