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Everton's Steven Pienaar on why John Stones is one of a kind

Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar believes that John Stones can become a mainstay of the England scene for "many more years".

The young centre-back was given his debut by Toffees manager Roberto Martinez last summer, and some impressive performances saw him included in the Three Lions' provisional squad ahead of the World Cup.

Stones was eventually sent home as the 30-man contingent was trimmed to 23 ahead of the Brazil tournament, but the elegant youngster quickly developed a burgeoning reputation as a ball-playing centre-back.

And South African winger Piennar thinks that his teammate can go on to establish himself as a key member of his national side, after stating that Stones' qualities are something that no other English defender currently has in their arsenal.

The Liverpool Echo quotes Pienaar as saying: "Stonesy is totally different compared to other English central defenders. He’s more of a ball player who is really comfortable in possession.

“It suits the manager and it’s good for the team. I can understand why England put their hopes on him. He’s certainly got a bright future and he’s got a good head on his shoulders. I hope to see many more years of him playing at the top level for Everton and his country.”

The 32-year-old also claimed that the Blues have been working on tactical flexibility ahead of a new season that begins with a trip to newly-promoted Leicester City on August 16.

“Now’s the time to experiment with different systems and we’ll take the positives from that and might continue when the whole team is together,” he added.

“We have to be flexible going into the new season. That’s what the manager wants. European games are totally different from the Premier League and every opponent will have a different approach.

“The Leicester game was a good opportunity for the young players to get experience. The manager is trying to give everyone the opportunity and we’ve got some good young players coming through. When the season starts (the result) it will be different . We’ve still got a few weeks of pre season to go.”

It's been a week to remember for Blues fans after Muhamed Besic's £4 million move from Ferencvaros was followed up by Ross Barkley's contract extension and Romelu Lukaku's permanent move from Chelsea.

The young England international put pen to paper on a new four-year deal at Goodison Park on Tuesday before Everton rubber-stamped Lukaku's move with a jaw-dropping £28 million move from Stamford Bridge the following day.

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