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Arsenal boss declares admiration for Everton's Pienaar

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger looks set to step up his interest in long term Everton target Steven Pienaar after the World Cup. The Gunners have been linked with a move for the South African star since the beginning of the year, and the Frenchman has declared his admiration for the Everton midfielder.

"Pienaar has grown this year. He was usually a very busy player where the final ball was missing a little bit, but this year he has gained in personality and he has kept his work-rate, so he has been much more efficient.

"What also played a big role in his growth was that Mikel Arteta was not there for a while and that he had to take the responsibility of being the playmaker of the team.

"He was one of the best players in England this year. He would get into the Arsenal team. I always had an eye on him since he was at Ajax."

With just one year remaining on his current deal at Goodison Park, the 28 year old could leave on a free transfer next summer.

The Gunners interest may depend on the outcome of the Cesc Fabregas transfer saga.

Pienaar admitted that he was flattered by the Gunners supremo's words, but played down talk of any switch to the Emirates Stadium outfit.

"It's always flattering that one of the best managers in the world says those kind of things about you," he said.

"What I need to do is to work week in, week out to keep getting better. I am thankful to Wenger but my aim is still the same: keep improving. As simple as that."

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