X

Tuesday 19
June

Manchester City

Southgate hails composed Stones

10th November 2017, 07:07 by Craig Smithson

Manchester City defender John Stones has the same composure as Europe's best defenders, according to England boss Gareth Southgate.

The 23-year-old was the subject of criticism last season as he struggled in his debut season at the Etihad Stadium following an initial £47.5million move from Premier League rivals Everton in summer 2016.

However, Stones has been in excellent form alongside Nicolas Otamendi so far this term as Pep Guardiola's men sit eight points clear at the top of the Premier League after 11 games and have already booked their place in the last-16 of the Champions League after four wins from as many group matches.

His defensive capabilities will be greatly tested on international duty over the next five days as England face Germany at Wembley on Friday, before Brazil visit London on Tuesday.

However, Southgate has no doubts about Stones' quality and feels he sits alongside the likes of Bayern Munich's Germany international Jerome Boateng and Barcelona's Spain international Gerard Pique as one of Europe's best ball-playing central defenders.

"I’ve always said to him people will talk to you about just kicking the ball out,” Southgate said.

"For me, if you want to do that, that's fine. You'll be the same as many others. But if you want to play for me with the under-21s, I want you to keep doing the things that make you different. And I think he is different.

"He has as much composure as any defender I've seen in Europe.

"I saw Boateng at Manchester City when he was a kid and nobody would have predicted him going on to do what he has done.

"I saw Pique at Middlesbrough when he was playing at Manchester United and he was at fault for a couple of the goals. You never would have seen him being where he was a couple of years later.

"And John has attributes that those guys have. He has presence in the opposition penalty box now. He has the mindset that he wants to learn and improve.

"He's got a really bright future and he's the type of defender we want playing for our country."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.

More Manchester City

Manchester City

Jorginho deal dragging on

19th June 2018, 07:06

Manchester City are still talking with Napoli over a move for Italian international midfielder Jorginho but hope it will be done soon.

Manchester City

City put add ons to Angelino deal

18th June 2018, 10:51

Manchester City chiefs have secured a sell-on clause and a first option following the recent sale of Angelino to PSV Eindhoven.

Manchester City

Kompany handed injury boost

18th June 2018, 05:36

Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany will remain in Belgium's World Cup squad after making good progress from a groin injury.

Manchester City

Foden linked with Rangers loan switch

17th June 2018, 15:59

Manchester City's aim to keep Phil Foden this summer will reportedly be tested by Rangers who want to take him on a season-long loan.

Manchester City

City warn off Barca

17th June 2018, 08:22

Manchester City are determined to keep hold of Ilkay Gundogan and have told Barcelona to forget about making a move.

Manchester City

City target set for move

16th June 2018, 10:41

Jorginho’s proposed move to Manchester City is just a matter of time according to Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis.

Recent Sport Headlines

Manchester United

Delays over Carrington extension

19th June 2018, 11:19

Reports claim plans to extend Manchester United's Carrington training ground have hit a snag over the costs involved.

Cricket

Moxon pleased with efforts despite defeat

19th June 2018, 10:29

Yorkshire Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon has hailed his side's efforts despite their exit from the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Crystal Palace

Palace starlet in French loan switch?

19th June 2018, 10:24

A quartet of Ligue 2 clubs are eyeing a loan move for Crystal Palace youngster Jason Lokilo, according to reports in France.

Horse Racing

Gunther eyes new high with Without Parole

19th June 2018, 10:19

John Gunther claims a win for Without Parole in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot would top his US Triple Crown success.

Cricket

Notts agree Ball extension

19th June 2018, 10:09

England bowler Jake Ball has committed his future to Nottinghamshire by signing a new deal until the end of the 2021 season.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Patricio makes the switch to Wolves

19th June 2018, 09:52

Wolves have landed a major summer target after signing Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio from Sporting Lisbon.

Celtic

Brown has confidence in new signing

19th June 2018, 09:48

Odsonne Edouard will be comfortable with his tag of the club's record signing, according to Celtic captain Scott Brown.

Horse Racing Previews

Johnston Two Year Old Ready To Take Command

19th June 2018, 09:43

Conditions Just Right For Another Victory