John Stones polarises opinion amongst football supporters because he’s far from your orthodox English centre-back.
Some people believe the technically-gifted 22-year-old is overrated because he makes too many mistakes.
However, it’s clear that top managers at Europe’s biggest clubs don’t share that opinion.
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'John Stones wants to join City'
It’s City who are pushing hardest to sign Stones and could pay up to £50 million to secure his signature - and, according to BBC Sport presenter Richard Askam, the player has made up his mind to join the Citizens.
“John Stones to Manchester City increasingly likely,” Askam tweeted on Tuesday. “Still way to go but player has certainly made his mind up.”
Stones’ signature would be a significant coup for Guardiola, who could be forgiven if he had reservations about both Vincent Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala.
Kompany has struggled with various injuries over the past couple of seasons and turns 31 in April while Mangala has failed to convince since completing a big-money move from FC Porto in 2014.
Managers think highly of Stones
It’s going to be a huge season for Stones regardless of where he’s plying his trade, but the spotlight will shine even more intensely on the young centre-back if he seals a move to City.
“My take is the one I always have with young players. John is 21, he’s played 68 games in the Premier League and I wouldn’t judge or assess it until a player has played 100 games in any division,” Roberto Martinez, defending Stones, was quoted as saying by the Guardian back in January.
“What I will say is that he has incredible potential, he is still young and in the right environment to develop. Whatever criticism from outside we accept, but John Stones is in the right environment to fulfil his potential as one of the greatest players England has ever seen.”
While Guardiola might not go as far as his compatriot, it’s clear the new City boss thinks very highly of the Englishman.
Is John Stones the real deal or overrated? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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