Everton defender John Stones made his first start for England in the 1-0 friendly win against Norway last night.
Stones has developed dramatically under the guidance of Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park to form a reputation for himself as one of the most talented youngsters in English football.
Stones was thrown in at the deep end by Roy Hodgson and has described the experience as a surreal one.
“It was very surreal, singing the national anthem out there with players who I have watched for years and years. To be out there was an absolute dream come true,” he told the FA Website.
Stones has also been widely praised in the written press, with several online versions of newspapers praising the way he played via player ratings features.
“The Everton youngster did not look out of place on the international stage, as he tackled strongly and used the ball well,” reported the Telegraph.
“Composed and got forward well. Good opposition to make debut against and caught out of position occasionally but can be pleased with his big night,” wrote the Independent.
There were a couple of errors from Stones during the game but Joe Hart came to his rescue for the worst and the others can be explained by the fact he’s been playing more in central defence for the Toffees.
He excelled towards the back end of last season which led to suggestions that he should have been in England’s World Cup squad but it’s encouraging that he seems to have carried that momentum forward to this point.
He’ll be tested throughout the current season when he’s used by Martinez against a variety of different attacks but all of the early signs look positive for his international career.
Here’s what Everton fans had to say about his performance on Twitter.
Overwhelmingly underwhelmed by that performance. Stones was quality though.— Matt Bailey (@Matt_Bailey1575) September 3, 2014
Stones looks like one for the future. Solid performance— Craig Currey (@Craiglinton96) September 3, 2014
This match is all about Stones & Baines for me. Decent performance & no injuries. Sound— Sean O'Donnell (@seano_) September 3, 2014
Stones was alright there like, I'd still prefer never to see him in that position for Everton anytime soon though. Centre half all the way.— Tom Ferguson (@TomFerguson1878) September 3, 2014
Jon Stones has done well for me tonight.. Looks a prospect— Adam Probets (@Probets69) September 3, 2014
I know it's a friendly n against Norway but I would have young stones playing right back all the time .... looks a great prospect— Matthew Kirkbride (@mattykirky) September 3, 2014
Clear to see stones is a cb not a rb. Great prospect though— Blue Newman (@blue_newman) September 3, 2014
I think Stones is a great prospect but i don't agree with him starting if he's not in Everton's starting XI #EngvNor— SAM WALKER (@OneSamWalker) September 3, 2014
@GaryLineker Not if players are played out of position. John Stones is our best prospect at CB. He is NOT a right back.— Terry Smith (@terry__smith) September 3, 2014
Stones has to play for us... It's his time to establish himself #efc— Simon Greenway (@greeny_efc) September 3, 2014