Everton manager Roberto Martinez has moved to defend his side’s policy of snapping up players on loan, claiming that it’s just a “part of the game”.

Three of the Toffees’ key men are currently only at the club on a temporary basis, with Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry having been drafted in from domestic rivals Chelsea and Manchester City respectively, while Gerard Deulofeu is on a season-long spell at Goodison Park from Barcelona.

The trio have all played a massive role in the Merseysiders’ top four challenge, and found themselves as the subject of critical comments from Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger this week.

The Frenchman claimed that the loan system is “indefensible”, hinting that Everton’s use of such deals has been a major boost to their aim of getting ahead of the Gunners in the battle for Champions League qualification.

But Martinez insists that Everton have done nothing wrong:

“I accept everyone’s opinion but the loan system has to be part of the game,” he is quoted by Sky Sports.

“Clearly from our point of view the loan system was vital as we needed it to finish our squad and to criticise that would be ridiculous.

“If you can be creative with the way you can use your resources, that is part of the game.

“The two young players (Lukaku and Deulofeu) needed the opportunity to develop and Gareth Barry has come in and his experience has been very important.

“Loanees will never be successful unless you have a strong core of players and that is what we have.”

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