It wasn’t long ago that many football fans were writing John Stones off.
The defender risks the wrath of supporters with his insistence to play the ball out of the back, no matter how much pressure he’s under.
As a youngster, it didn’t always go down well at Everton.
But after a £47.5 million move to Manchester City in 2016, Stones has developed into a really accomplished defender.
There are now fewer mistakes and he’s turned into a very good player indeed.
So much so that the 24-year-old is the key to England’s back-three as they prepare for their World Cup quarter-final clash against Sweden.
With Kyle Walker - unfamiliar in a centre-back position - to his right and Harry Maguire to his left, Stones is responsible for organising England’s defence during this tournament.
But Stones is much more than just a defender.
His ball-playing skills in this back-three are essential as he brings the ball out of defence and begins attacking moves.
It’s something that many fans don’t appreciate the importance of. However, a video has emerged showing exactly what Stones brings to this England side, and it’s rather interesting.
A series of clips from England’s penalty win against Colombia has emerged and it shows Stones playing the ball out of the back, whilst ordering his teammates into positions where they can receive the ball.
It may go unnoticed during matches but it represents his importance to the Three Lions during their World Cup campaign.
WATCH: JOHN STONES ANALYSIS VS COLOMBIA
Take a look:
While Stones is getting a lot of praise for his performances, England fans were loving him for seemingly celebrating in the faces of Colombia players after their penalty shootout victory.
However, Stones tried to deny that he was mocking his opponents and claimed he was just looking towards the England bench.
"Oh, I’ve seen that!," said the Manchester City defender.
"I was celebrating across to the bench. It’s come across a bit wrong but the best thing for us was to beat them at football."News Now - Sport News