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Everton boss Roberto Martinez is preparing for this weekend's clash with Manchester City knowing that his side need to keep on winning to secure fifth place in the Premier League, as fourth spot looks all but impossible with Arsenal needing just one more win to seal their spot in the Champions League next season.
In the Toffees' outstanding season, they have relied on the contributions of loan players such as Gerard Deulofeu and Romelu Lukaku, but Gareth Barry has been key in the midfield. The former England international is ineligible to play against his parent club City this weekend, and Martinez believes that there should be a change to the loan rules in the Premier League.
"In my eyes, when you reach an agreement to let a player go, whether that's on loan or a permanent transfer, they should be allowed to play," said Martinez. "I don't see how it's healthy not allowing a player to play against a parent club. If you make the decision to allow a player to go, it's because for that season, for whatever reason, everyone is happy to see the player at another club."
With that in mind, Barry has admitted his disappointment at missing out on the fixture, saying how he wants to feature for Everton in the final home game of the season as the Toffees still have plenty to play for.
“It’s a fixture I looked at earlier on in the season because the last home game of the season is always a special one,” he said. "You want to be out there in front of your home fans for the last time that season, especially when there is something at stake as well.”
Everton will almost certainly look to strengthen their squad this summer as they embark on a European campaign, and one of the primary concerns for Martinez will be adding a striker to replace Belgian hitman Lukaku. A number of strikers have already been linked, but QPR boss Harry Redknapp has admitted that he believes Everton are interested in signing Loic Remy at the end of the season.