Everton fans have been left disappointed today with the news that John Stones is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines with injury.
Stones picked up an ankle injury during the Toffees match against Manchester United at the weekend and it has been a major blow for the side.
The 20-year-old is not expected to play another game until next calendar year, leaving Everton short at the back.
Roberto Martinez has commented that he felt Stones could become a club captain in the future, but this will have thwarted his progress somewhat.
The youngster has burst onto the scene after signing from Barnsley last year and is now an integral part of Everton's defence.
It is a backline which have struggled so far this season and their problems look set to worsen in Stones' absence.
Stones can cover at right-back and centre-back for the side and Martinez will have to make sure that the rest of his more experienced defenders now step-up to cover for the loss of their teammate.
Going forward the club have carried a threat, but their defensive issues have been well documented and that is the reason why they are locked in the bottom half.
It is another issue in what has been a rather worrying start to the season for the Merseyside outfit and that has been reflected in the reaction from the club's fans on Twitter.
The best responses can be seen below.
John Stones out until the New Year. pretty beleaguered at the back now. Why did Martinez not strengthen defence during window? #efc— Derekico Dolandho (@delq78) October 9, 2014
Literally everything that could go wrong for EFC this season has. John stones is injured now, brilliant.— Peter Cresswell (@PeterDCresswell) October 9, 2014
John Stones out for over 3 months. Tragedy for the young lad just as he was making that place his own. He will be missed. #efc— Paul Downes (@CallmeDownsie) October 9, 2014
Terrible news about Stones,I hope Distin is finally ready to start his season after his rest,if not Browning has to start.Not Alcaraz.— tony foxwell (@tonyf_efc) October 9, 2014
Stones is a massive, massive blow, so many injuries at the minute, killing us off #EFC— Jonathan Parr (@Paj453) October 9, 2014
Oh, John Stones. Horrible news. This season's already a write off I reckon. Too much has happened already, and we're only 7 games in! #EFC— Leah (@Leah_Cor) October 9, 2014
Not going to try and dress it up, that injury to Stones is a massive blow for #EFC— Matt Jones (@MattJFootball) October 9, 2014
This Stones news is an absolute travesty for our season. He’s been one of the few shining lights. Another injury, just ridiculous. #EFC— Callum Whyte (@CalWhyte) October 9, 2014