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Boss Targets More Loan Stars

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Everton v Swansea

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Roberto Martinez believes the early-season success of his summer loan signings could help attract more young players to Everton in the future.

Romelu Lukaku, 20, and Gerard Deulofeu, 19, have made telling impacts at Goodison Park since joining on year-long deals in the summer from Chelsea and Barcelona respectively.

The vastly-experienced Gareth Barry has also proved a revelation since signing on similar terms from Manchester City.

Martinez claims several clubs have noted the way these loan acquisitions have flourished and have earmarked Everton as a destination to develop young prodigious talents of their own.

Everton’s free-flowing, eye-catching style under the Spaniard has seen them move just four points behind league leaders Arsenal as the midway point of the season approaches.

And Martinez said: “Clubs have seen the other loanees and how well they have been looked after. We have had phone calls from clubs asking about taking their players next season. They see it as a step-up in their career.

“Put yourself as a director of football. You spend £20million on a youngster but there is no place for him in your team yet.

“Where are you going to send him? You aren’t going to send him somewhere that he is not going to develop or be at a club with a different style. That’s a danger.

“And you are not bothered about making the team you are sending him to stronger.

“Remember Chelsea are delighted with Romelu. He can’t play against them and the other week he helped take two points off Arsenal and three points off Manchester United.

“That is a big compliment to us and it is very important for us.”

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