Wednesday 22 November 2017

Loan stars should face parent clubs – Wenger

Arsene Wenger, manager of Arsenal
Arsene Wenger, manager of Arsenal

Matt Law

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called for a change to the loan system.

Wenger believes Everton's on-loan Romelu Lukaku should not be stopped from playing against parent club Chelsea.

Lukaku can do Chelsea a big favour tomorrow by preventing Premier League leaders Arsenal picking up another three points against Everton.

Lukaku, who has scored eight goals, is not Everton's only loanee. Gareth Barry joined from Manchester City until the end of the season and Gerard Deulofeu switched from Barcelona.

Wenger allowed Francis Jeffers and Jermaine Pennant to face Arsenal while they were on loan before the choice was taken away from clubs and managers.

Speaking at an Arsenal Teenage Cancer Trust charity event, Wenger said: "The loan system has existed for a while. I'm not against it, I just think players should be allowed to play against the team who loans them out. I pleaded for that.

"If you sign for a club and commit to them for a year you should be available to play for them in every single game, with no exceptions.

"You always find clubs can sell a player for one year with a buy-back clause and get the player back. But then he can play against everybody – that would be a bit more normal.

"When I arrived in England, you could decide if your player played against you or not. I had it with Francis Jeffers and said 'yes, let him play'.

"Now, they have decided you don't have the right, which is a little bit questioning the integrity of the players. We don't have as many players as Chelsea. They had an abundance of strikers and maybe Lukaku felt there was very little chance for him to play.

"In England, you have no feeder club. You find another way to give competition. But once you are on loan, it should be a transfer – you play for the club. You cannot play for the club only in 36 games and not against another club."

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

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