Ronald Koeman says pressure on players heavier than ever as he reiterates Everton support for Aaron Lennon

Chris Bascombe
The pressure on footballers such as Aaron Lennon is heavier than it ever has been, says his Everton manager - PA

Ronald Koeman, the Everton manager, believes the pressure on modern footballers is greater than it has ever been as he reiterated his club’s full support and compassion for Aaron Lennon

Lennon is absent with a stress-related illness having been detained for his own safety last weekend.

Koeman says the club is well equipped to deal with such cases, but he has sympathy for players as they cope with the increasing demands on them.

"As you know the club mentioned that Aaron had a stress-related illness and it is a private situation,” said Koeman. "We try to give him all the support [to enable] him to come back as soon as possible.

"We have contact with him and his family and I think it is best we keep it inside between club, the player and his family. We try always with every individual player to help him to improve as a football player and if we feel some problems in mental or other issues then we have enough people working in the club to help players with these kind of problems.

Ronald Koeman has reiterated Everton's hopes, best wishes and support for Aaron Lennon Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

"We would like to see him back but what is important now is for him to be like he was. Life, health, is more important than football.

Koeman understands how the pressure can build on players. However, he does believe Premier League clubs are doing what they can to address such issues.

“In one side yes [the pressure is more] because the whole social media is different than it was 20 years ago and of course that is more pressure; more football, more games, international football - that is really tough for players,” he said.

"What I saw when I was at Southampton and at Everton – and I believe at every Premier League club – it has people to help. You need to have open communication with players so if there is something they will mention but I think we have the people to support the players if there is any mental problem.”

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