Arsene Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has said that loan deals should be treated like permanent transfers.

League leaders Arsenal face a tough match on Sunday when they come up against an inform Everton led by Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku.

The Belgium international has scored eight goals since joining Everton this summer, and has sparked much debate about loan deals in England’s top flight.

The powerful striker is not allowed to play against his parent club, which is something Wenger feels should be changed.

“Once you are on loan, it should be a transfer – you play for the club,” he said. “You cannot play for the club only in 19 games and not against another club.

“If Lukaku didn’t play for Everton, somebody else would play. I don’t make a fuss of that, and it is our performance that will dictate the result on Sunday – not only Lukaku. He is a good player, but the rules are the rules and we have to accept the rules.

“If you ask me my opinion, I am not against loans, but you should be capable to play against everybody.

“Even if you want to loan a player and you said tomorrow you cannot do it any more, you always find people can sell a player for one year with a buy-back clause and get the player back, but (at least) then he can play against everybody, that would be a bit more normal.

“You can always turn the rule.”

“When I arrived, you could decide that when you loan the player he could play against you or not,” he added.

“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.”