Arsène Wenger has advocated a change in the loan system ahead of facing Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku – playing for Everton – at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow.
Lukaku has been a huge success at Everton with eight goals already, and he could do his parent club a favour if he helps to take points off Arsenal. Amid fears of big clubs using loans tactically, Wenger has suggested that loan players should be able to play against the team that owns them.
“I am not against the loan system,” Wenger said yesterday ahead of tomorrow’s Arsenal Foundation match day in support of Teenage Cancer Trust. “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.”
Allowing players to face their parent clubs might thwart strategic loans. “Once you are on loan, it should be a transfer – you play for the club. You cannot play for the club only in 19 games and not against another club,” said Wenger.
“When I arrived you could decide if your player could play against you or not. I had it with [Francis] Jeffers and said ‘yes, let him play’. We had the case with [Jermaine] Pennant as well when he went to Leeds. I allowed him to play against us because at that time you could decide. Now they have decided that you don’t have the right, which is a little bit questioning the integrity of the players.”