Someone old, someone new, one borrowed, but both Blue


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The Independent Online

The transfer window has a frantic chemistry all of its own – a fact well demonstrated by the two men who, for a variety of reasons, have suddenly found themselves Everton players.

On the Tuesday night when David Moyes' side once more showed their psychological hold over Manchester City, Nikica Jelavic was paraded around Goodison Park.

There was no desire burning in the Croat's heart to leave Glasgow Rangers for Merseyside. He confessed to knowing little of Everton, save for the fact it was "a good Premier League club always in the middle of the table".

However, Rangers are teetering on the financial brink, Jelavic was Ibrox's most readily saleable asset and it did not matter whether he went to Goodison or West Ham so long as he went. Everton, for once, had some cash. Jelavic said the deal was agreed with his agent "in about 10 minutes".

At the same time, Steven Pienaar was at White Hart Lane, watching from the substitutes' bench as Tottenham swept Wigan aside. He knew everything about Everton, having spent four years at the club. He knew, too, that he needed to get away from the Seven Sisters Road and start playing football again.

After the match, still wearing his tracksuit, Pienaar plucked up the courage to see Harry Redknapp in his office. He asked to go out on loan but the Tottenham manager refused, saying he was needed as back-up. "It was," said the South African midfielder, "the most stressful moment."

What Pienaar and perhaps Redknapp did not know at the time was that, elsewhere in London, the two clubs' chairmen, Daniel Levy and Bill Kenwright, were negotiating the transfer of Louis Saha, which would be smoothed by Pienaar's return to Merseyside on loan. When he was informed, there was no stopping him. "All I could think of was rushing to the secretary's office to sign the papers." The deal was completed with 10 minutes of the transfer window left.

Deep down Pienaar knew the move to Spurs, with so many attacking midfielders, had been a mistake. "You do get to the limits of your patience," he said. "I had waited two months to play and you can only take so much. Everton wasn't a difficult decision. If you leave in January to go on loan, it is not easy and you have to get used to your surroundings quickly. I know my way around here."