Bilyaletdinov eyes more action
Russian midfielder aims to make most of Pienaar departure
By Ben Collins. Last Updated: January 19, 2011 11:10am
Bilyaletdinov: Has bid farewell to Pienaar
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is hoping Steven Pienaar's move to Tottenham opens the door for him at Everton.
Pienaar has started 18 of the Toffees' 22 Premier League games this season while Bilyaletdinov has been restricted to just three starts.
But Pienaar completed a £3million switch to Spurs on Tuesday and Bilyaletdinov aims to convince manager David Moyes he is the man to fill the midfield void left by the South African's departure.
"Steven has been a big player for Everton for four years and I have to say good luck to him," he told the Liverpool Echo.
"He's a very creative player and it's not good for Everton that he's gone, but we still have many good players to keep us moving forward.
"Maybe Steven going will be good for me, but I'd prefer to play with him because he's an intelligent player.
"Just because he's gone it doesn't mean I'll start the next game, but who knows?
"Whether I'll get more chances now isn't a question for me, it's a question for David Moyes and Steve Round (assistant manager)."
Pienaar was out of contract at the end of the season, forcing Everton to accept a cut-price fee or lose him for nothing in the summer.
Bilyaletdinov now has the chance to reproduce the promising form he showed during his first season on Merseyside.
The Russia international, who turns 26 next month, joined from Lokomotiv Moscow for around £9million in the summer of 2009 and went on to score six goals in 16 league starts last term.
And despite seeing his first-team opportunities limited this season, the midfielder is not looking at following Pienaar out of the Goodison Park exit door.
"I like this club, I like this team and the atmosphere here is great," Bilyaletdinov added.
"I don't think about changing (clubs). The only thing I want to change is the amount of time I spend on the pitch.
"All I can do is work hard and do my best in training.
"I don't think it's correct to go to the coach and ask him [why I'm not playing].
"I'm not going to go to the manager crying about it as I've got to be professional."