John Stones has looked back to his very best this season at Manchester City.
After a prolonged spell warming the bench under Pep Guardiola, the Englishman is now a regular in the team's starting XI and trusted to play in the biggest games.
When he's in form, there are few - if any - ball-playing centre-backs in the world better than the former Everton man.
Stones is exceptional at kickstarting attacks from deep and is pretty darn good when called upon to perform his defensive duties.
The 26-year-old has also shown in 2020/21 that he's more than capable of contributing goals, scoring five for City in all competitions this season.
However, his prowess in attack should not really come as a surprise, as he proved back in 2013 what a cool customer he can be in front of goal.
During a pre-season game for Everton against Juventus in San Francisco, Stones stepped up to take a penalty after the shootout had been sent to sudden death following a miss from Andrea Pirlo.
But instead of taking a conventional spot kick, Stones decided to upstage Pirlo by scoring a penalty befitting of the Italian maestro.
The English defender cooly chipped the ball past a helpless Marco Storari, who seemed rather angry with Stones for having the audacity to produce a Panenka.
If City are ever in need of a fearless penalty taker in a shootout, they should certainly turn to Stones.
The Englishman actually tried to play down his cheeky bit of skill after the game, humorously declaring that he "shanked" the effort from 12 yards.
"I did it a few months ago for the Under-21s last season," Stones said, per Royal Blue Mersey. "I always said I would do it and the lads have been saying that I wouldn’t do it in front of a big crowd. I’ve stuck by it and today it has come off.
"I have been practicing it in training. At Finch Farm I did one and it hit the bar. I stuck with it and yesterday [in training] I did one that came off, so I thought that if I got to take a penalty I would do it.
"I wanted it to go down the middle but I kind of shanked it and it went right.
"I had to believe it was going in - and I’m glad it did, to be fair."News Now - Sport News