A player in the headlines today being linked with a move away from his club, is young Everton defender John Stones, who after being linked to Chelsea throughout the summer is now thought to be a transfer target for Spanish giants Barcelona.
After impressing for the Toffees since joining from Barnsley in 2013, the 21-year-old defender is thought to have made a short list of young defenders in which Barcelona boss Luis Enrique hopes to sign in order to strengthen up the Barcelona back-line for the long term future.
Stones isn’t a typical English style defender in that he looks to pump the ball forward at any given opportunity, he possesses astute technical ability and is very comfortable on the ball for a defender which would fit in perfectly to Barcelona’s philosophy of playing it out from the back.
With Chelsea’s interest in the summer finally taking its toll on the young English defender, Stones handed in a transfer request towards the back end of the transfer window after expressing his desire to join Jose Mourinho’s team. However, Everton stood firm by rejecting all the bids Chelsea threw at them and insisted that they wouldn’t sell their best prospect. It could have been easy for the player to throw his toys out of the pram when he didn’t get his wish, but unlike Saido Berahino at West Brom, Stones has been a true professional about the ordeal and has continued to put in some impressive displays in the Everton defence.
Already a full England international and having made over 50 appearances in the Premier League, it is certain that the stock of Stones is well and truly on the rise with more admirers being attracted to the ball playing defender. Strong in the air, accurate in the tackle and able to make pin-point passes, it is no wonder that the best teams in the world have began to take notice of a player showing much more maturity on the field than his tender years suggest.
After Everton turned down an incredible six bids from Chelsea in the summer, with the final one being a whopping £38 million, it is thought that Barcelona will have to pay out closer to £50 million in order to secure Stones and take him to the Nou Camp.
With John Stones only likely to get better with age, he could be a very smart investment on Football INDEX with his price currently only £2.01.