England under-21's manager Gareth Southgate has warned John Stones over his potential move to Chelsea.
The Everton defender has handed in a formal transfer request at his current club and is expected to join Jose Mourinho's side before the transfer window closes.
However, Southgate believes Stones could be harming his England chances if he moves to Chelsea and fails to play first-team football on a regular basis.
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As per the Evening Standard, Southgate told Sky Sports: "The key is initially that they need to play, so both of those players are currently at clubs where they are playing regularly, which is a great position to be in.
“With the senior team, Roy Hodgson will want as many of his players playing Champions League football as possible. That’s where they test themselves against the very best.
“But with the younger players, they need to play regularly and that should be high on their consideration. I have seen what happens when players are not playing regularly and there’s a moment their development dwindles and they don’t progress.”
Southgate was talking about Stones along with Saido Berahino, who is linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur.
HE WILL PLAY
The England central defender has become a vital cog in Everton's machine since his move from Barnsley and the Merseyside club were are reluctant to see him leave.
Stones will face tough competition for places at Chelsea but has the quality to break into the first-team sooner rather than later in West London.
John Terry has been a stalwart in the Chelsea back line for almost a decade, however his position has come under scrutiny following a tough start to the season.
Gary Cahill is also under pressure after a poor start to the season and was dropped in favour of Kurt Zouma for the trip to West Brom.
Stones' pace and power will stand him in good stead when going up against two players who lack a turn of pace. If Stones did struggle to break through, he would learn a lot from Terry and at the age of 21, has time on his hands to build a formidable partnership with Zouma.