He's one of the best players in his position nowadays
John Stones was born in Barnsley 21 years ago. He plays as a centre-back for Everton in the Premier League, but he has also performed well as a right-back when asked. He's 1'88 m tall, international with England and any of the greatest clubs in Europe would be interested in signing him.
He is not a product of Everton's academy. In fact they signed him back in 2013. That may explain why Stones wanted to leave last summer when Chelsea knocked Everton's door with three formal bids for the defence. The last one of 40 million euros. Everton rejected one after the another.
Stones has already appeared in the Spanish covers and Mundo Deportivo reported a few days ago that Barcelona were tracking his steps andfollowing each one of his games for Everton and England.
However, the centre-back of the moment is not for sell. Roberto Martínez, who has given the player a chance in his team, will make the impossible to keep him.
"John Stones is an incredible defender. The way he reads the game and makes interceptions... He shows incredible composure and you wold never say he's only 21 years old. He was under a lot of pressure, so his performance was that of someone who has the potential to become an England captain". (Roberto Martínez about Stones)
Is he good enough to play for Barcelona? Sometimes it can be really difficult for an English player to adapt to the Spanish league. However, Stones seems different. He has an incredible technical ability, reads the game perfectly and never play nervous. He can still improve and become a world class defender, but one of those he may admire, Gerard Pique, has a very good opinion on him, as he told to The Telegraph some weeks ago.
"Rio Ferdinand and John were the two main central defenders in England. Top level. Now I think John Stones is a reayll, really, good player. He will have a good career. He's like Rio, a bit. He's young and alongside him they probably need one who is more experienced. Jagielka is injured. But Smalling is playing well at Manchester United". (Piqué about John Stones)
Piqué even included Stones in his dream XI: De Gea, Ramos, Piqué himself, Stones, Pogba, Busquets, Iniesta, Fàbregas, Neymar, Suárez and Messi.
"Now the position of the centre-back is not just about defending or being nasty or tough. It's about knowing how to play football, control the ball, pass and be more comfortable in possession. And this is something that 10 years ago in England they didn't understand. Rio was the first one who did it. And now there is Stones, he's one of the new generation who understand football not jusrt as a defender". (Piqué about Stones)
Piqué speaks about playing alongside an experienced defender. Maybe Stone shas learnt all he had to learn from Jagielka. Is now the time to get even a better teacher? Piqué himself?
The problem Barcelona have in the signing of Stones is that all the greatest clubs in England are already interested. They have the money, they know the player, he knows the league and it's much easier to perform for Man City, Man United or Chelsea at this time than doing it for Barcelona. The Catalans are more demanding, so maybe they will take more time to decide if Stones is good enough or not. Then it could be too late to sign him.
VIDEO. John Stones