Martinez welcomes interest in Everton stars

Date published: Sunday 8th November 2015 1:45

Romelu Lukaku: Everton forward linked with French side PSG

Roberto Martinez insists he welcomes interest from other teams in his Everton players as it shows they are performing well.

Striker Romelu Lukaku – who scored the equaliser in the 1-1 draw at West Ham – has been linked with a move to French champions PSG, while defender John Stones was the subject of multiple bids from Chelsea during the summer transfer window.

However Martinez believes the interest in his players should be taken as a compliment.

“What I don’t like is teams looking at our squad and nobody is interested, and nobody feels we have got good players,” the Spaniard said.

“We worked really hard in the last six transfer windows to assemble a very strong squad with a real determination to bring in young players with world-class talent, and that’s what we’ve done.

“When you look at players like Gerard Deulofeu, Romelu Lukaku, John Stones, Ross Barkley, they are very young players and they work to develop, to become important, to enjoy their football, and then we are going to benefit as a football club.

“So I have no worries about attracting attention, because that’s what you want. If you sign players and no one thinks they are doing well then you have a big, big problem.”

Following the draw at Upton Park, Martinez singled out centre-back Stones for praise after the 21-year-old largely negated the threat of England forward Andy Carroll.

The former Barnsley player has had to assume a more authoritative role, marshaling a young defence in the absence of the injured Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka.

“It was a really interesting challenge for John – it wasn’t just about defending and doing his job well, it was about leading the back four with five defenders injured,” he added.

“I thought John set the tone and he was immense, in the manner that you have to defend a striker like Andy Carroll and then take the responsibility in the way he started the play, I thought it was a magnificent performance.”

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