Rio Ferdinand enjoyed 11 years of working with legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford in a career that saw him win six Premier League titles and the Champions League.
And that achievement of maintaining his place in United's team was no easy feat considering the world-class talents the Scot acquired over the years and the huge pressures the former defender was under to perform at the highest level.
But as one of England's best defenders of recent years, Ferdinand knows exactly what it takes to become a top-class centre-back and can sympathise with the struggles John Stones is facing at United's cross-city rivals Manchester City.
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The 22-year-old's performances have been heavily criticised since joining Pep Guardiola's City revolution for £47.5 million from Everton last summer, with the former Barnsley youngster having to adapt to the Spaniard's style of play.
Stones' defensive capabilities have been thrown into question at times this season, while he has also been accused of trying too hard with Guardiola's philosophy which is still in the early stages of being implemented at City.
Joe Hart was axed in pre-season after Guardiola showed a lack of confidence in the England shot-stopper's confidence of playing out from the back with his feet, and Stones has similarly appeared to struggle with the pressure's of City's new style of play.
Ferdinand envies Stones
However, despite the highly-rated young defender perhaps making a slower impact at the Etihad than he would have liked, Ferdinand admits he is jealous of Stones being able to work with Guardiola and believes the England international needs the likes of Vincent Kompany to assist him.
“It’s about different styles and Stones has clearly been asked to go out there and take risks," said Ferdinand, per The Sun.
“I have to say I admire that. I’d like to have played under Guardiola because I would have enjoyed going out there and taking the ball. But it’s about balance and getting that right.
“What the manager is asking particular players to do is the difference - and that’s why Stones needs a Vincent Kompany next to him.
"He needs some other experienced players who have played this way to help him because he’s still a young player coming into a new team."
Kompany's injury struggles this season have left Stones mainly partnering Nicolas Otamendi in central defence this campaign, but the Belgian is seen as the young Englishman's best mentor.
However, if there is ever a better time to prove your worth, then the former Everton defender has the chance to show why City spent big on him in the summer against AS Monaco in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie on Tuesday.News Now - Sport News