Koeman pledges 'long-term' Everton support for Lennon

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Everton manager Ronald Koeman has pledged the club's full support to Aaron Lennon after the winger was diagnosed with a stress-related illness.

Lennon was attended to by police on Eccles Old Road in Salford on Sunday after members of the public became concerned.

A number of messages of support for the England international were posted on social media following the news, including from old club Tottenham, whose manager Mauricio Pochettino confirmed that Lennon's former employers are offering him support.

And Koeman has said that Everton will stand by the 30-year-old until he feels he is fit to return to action.

"If it is a long-term problem he will have our long-term support," said Koeman. 

"Aaron still has one or two years more of contract [it expires in June 2018] and we will support him and help him to come back. If it takes time, it takes time, but we will do it. We won't drop the support to him. 

"Of course 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."

The incident has prompted an introspective look into the support on offer for footballers, but Koeman praised the networks available to professionals.

"What I saw at Southampton and at Everton is every Premier League club has people to help," added the Dutchman. 

"You need to have open communication with players so if there is something they will mention it, but I think we have the people to support the players if there is any mental problem.

"On one side there is more pressure now because social media is different than it was 20 years ago and, of course, that is more pressure. There is more football, more games, international football as well: that is really tough for players."

Lennon joined Everton from Spurs on a permanent deal in 2015, but he has not made an appearance in the Premier League since February 11.

The ex-Leeds United winger has won 21 caps for England, the last of which came in 2013.