Roberto Martinez has slammed Arsene Wenger for his attack on Everton's loanees.
The Arsenal manager delivered a withering criticism of players like Romelu Lukaku, Gerard Deulofeu and Gareth Barry - all on loan at Goodison Park - before his side's 3-0 defeat to the Blues last weekend, claiming Premier League players should be either loaned to lower division or overseas only.
Today Martinez hit back at Wenger for targeting Everton, who also have Monaco striker Lacina Traore on their books. and argued that the loan system provides a valuable opportunity for players that would otherwise find themselves confined to the wilderness at their parent clubs.
"To criticise us is ridiculous," he told his pre-match press conference.
"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."
He added: "The loan market is a need. The players available are either very young and haven't had opportunities to play, or more experienced players who don't have the chances any more.
"Many times you find players who have been treated unfairly just because they are not part of the long term plans of the club, or youngsters who don't get a chance, so it is providing a requirement for those players.
"More and more you can have clubs with young players who are not getting opportunities. It is very, very difficult for a young player to have opportunities, and then they must look at those clubs who give them a chance to develop.
"We like to think we are one of those clubs, and it would be ridiculous to criticise us for giving opportunities to young players."