Johnny Heitinga believes Everton must hold on to Jack Rodwell and Steven Pienaar, for the club to have a "beautiful season".
Both Rodwell and Pienaar have been linked with possible moves away from Goodison Park in the summer and Rodwell, one of a number of first-team players to come up through the club's Academy, is rumoured to be interesting Manchester United. The England Under-21 midfielder, who only broke through into the Everton team on a regular basis last season, has made 16 Premier League starts this term and scored against the Red Devils and Hull City.
Rodwell is tied to the Toffees until 2014 and is highly rated by Everton boss David Moyes, but losing a second youth product to United, following Wayne Rooney's move in 2004, could send out the wrong message for a club looking to compete in Europe.
South Africa international Pienaar is said to interest Chelsea, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid and Fiorentina and is enjoying his best season on Merseyside after moving from Borussia Dortmund in 2006. He will be out of contract in the summer of 2011 and talks have already begun over a new deal.
Everton defender Heitinga, signed from Atletico last year, believes the two players could be key to the club's future success.
"It is important for us and the club, and everyone who loves Everton - if everyone is fit then we have a really good team," he told Sky Sports News. "Jack is a good player and I hope he stays, I also think it would be good for him and his future at a club like Everton. He gets his chance to play and gets minutes and it is good to have him in the squad.
"Steven is an important player for us, I knew him at Ajax but he is better now and if we can keep the squad together we can have a good, beautiful season."
Moyes recently spoke of his desire to agree terms with Pienaar over a new contract.
"We are speaking to Steven and things are ongoing," he said earlier this month. "He's at a club which really suits him and Everton have been very good to him.
"There's something ongoing with Jack Rodwell at the moment, too. He's got about four years to go I think. But he's in talks now about a new contract."
Everton still have hopes of booking a return to the Europa League for next season. It seems very likely that Portsmouth will not be able to take up the place they have earned after reaching the FA Cup final, as they did not apply for a UEFA licence to play in Europe, which means the top seven in the Premier League will all play in continental competition.
The Toffees are four points behind seventh placed Aston Villa, but have played a match more. They may well harbour hopes of overtaking Liverpool, who are six points ahead of them but have played a game more.
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