New Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola remains keen on making a £50million signing, despite many believing that deal does not represent good value.
Everton will demand £50 million for 22-year-old John Stones, but Pep Guardiola is a massive admirer of Stones and remains determined on bringing the young England international to the Etihad Stadium this summer.
The Toffees stood firm last summer and rejected all three bids for their prized asset and rebuffed any attempts whatsoever, however, the financial circumstances at Manchester City will see them pursue their interest at any cost.
However, Everton would ideally like to keep hold of their man this summer and resist selling their young sensation, but will be allowed to leave Merseyside this summer if City pay a price that would make him Britain’s most expensive defender of all time.
One of the main reasons Everton will demand such an eye-watering amount for the defender, is because Stones’ former club Barnsley would pocket 15% of any transfer fee and therefore could earn £7.5m on their academy graduate if City chose to splash out £50 million on signing Stones.
Stones has made 77 League appearances since his move to Everton in 2013, scoring one goal. After impressive performances in recent seasons he has also got himself ten caps for England.
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri is set to give Koeman £100 million to spend this summer and selling Stones with give the manager even more additional funds. Everton are being linked with making four big signings.
Central defence has certainly been something of a problem for City in recent seasons, captain Vincent Kompany has struggled with nonstop injuries which saw him ruled out of Euro 2016, Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala have both had on/off seasons and City have parted ways with Martin Demichelis.
Stones is certainly a Guardiola-type player, he is a ball playing centre-back who is always keen to bring the ball forward and pass between the lines, instead of hoofing it up top, Stones’ play is quite similar to a deep lying midfielder at times, of course he is naturally a defender but he certainly drives forward and has the passing range of a midfielder.
Stones can be guilty of holding on to the ball for too long and being dispossessed in dangerous areas, this will be a worry for Guardiola as he looks for the perfect start to his City reign, however at such a tender age Stones can learn when to / and when not to release the ball, something Guardiola will be keen to work on. It would certainly be good for England to have Guardiola mentoring Stones, that would give the player a good chance of fulfilling his potential.
Stones had an poor season to say the least last season, partly due to the fact he had his heart set on a summer move to Chelsea the previous summer. City still retain full hope in the player and trust his ability and will be hopeful of tying him down this summer. With rival England clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester United also interested in Stones, we take a look at how he compares to their current crop of defenders.
Being a defender in one of the toughest leagues in the world, and be able to win tackles successfully is a major factor of being a world class defender. Stones has won a very good 1.26 tackles which is better than his opponents. Smalling is second with 1.19, Kompany third with 1.06 and Terry last 0.80.
One worrying thing for the clubs interested in Stones is his defensive errors; he comes top with 0.15 which is not very pleasing. Terry is second with 0.05 and both Smalling and Kompany have a score of 0 when it comes to defensive errors which is very impressive.
Interceptions in defence can be as big as an assist in attack. Smalling has completely annihilated his rivals with this stat and has a very good score of 2.77. Terry is second with 1.74 and Stones closely behind on 1.71, Kompany is last with 1.63.
Defenders have to be good in the air and be brave enough to challenge, Kompany who stands way over 6 feet has won 85.37% of aerial duels which is better than his rivals, Terry is second on 68.18% and Stones third after scoring 64.79%. Surprisingly Smalling is last with aerial duels won after scoring just 60.40% which is still over half.
Like interceptions, blocks are another important aspect for a defender, whether it be stopping a shot on the line or blocking a pass through on goal. Stones impressively comes first on total blocks after scoring 1.15 per 90 minutes; Terry is second on 0.80, Smalling third 0.58 and Kompany last on 0.28.
There is no doubt at just 21 years old Stones will only get better. He hasn’t had his best season and it may be because his heart is elsewhere but there is no doubt about the potential he has. All clubs interested in Stones will have to pay a very high fee in order to receive his services and whatever team is lucky enough to sign him will be very happy. He is such a raw talent with so much more to learn and with the right direction he could become one of the best defenders in Europe.