Everton boss Roberto Martinez has hit back at Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger over criticism of his use of the loan system.

Wenger claimed the three loan players Romelu Lukaku, Gareth Barry and Gerard Deulofeu gave the opposition an advantage they could otherwise not afford.

Martinez responded: "To criticise us is ridiculous...it would be the same as criticising us for developing a lot of young players, and giving them a chance, which is what we have done this season.

"The loan system is something that has to be part of the game - we have seven players ourselves out on loan and you need to develop young players.

"It's just a question of finding a loan system that works. It has got its pros and cons - but from our point of view it works.

"And remember, no loan player would be a success unless you had a strong core group of players, which is what we have here. People forget that."

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