Everton star John Stones reveals ‘mentor’ key to his development

John Stones has developed into one of England’s best defenders since signing for Everton.

Having started his career at Barnsley, Stones has become a key player for Everton, and he told the official Toffees matchday programme who a key figure behind his development is.

Despite being just 20 years old, Stones already has 73 professional appearances to his name at club level - with both Barnsley and Everton - as well as four caps for the senior England team.

Since signing for the Toffees in January 2013 - the last signing of the David Moyes regime - Stones have developed into a key player for his club, and an almost guaranteed first-team starter. He has 19 appearances to his name this term, and is considered one of the brightest young defensive prospects in English football.

Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal have all been linked with making a move for the youngster in the coming months, as per the Mirror, although there is no reason for him to leave Goodison Park when guaranteed first-team football. Able to play at both centre-half and right-back, Stones will likely move permanently into the central role when Sylvain Distin retires - he is currently 37-years-old - and have a long and prosperous career, with both his club and country.

Playing alongside him in the centre of defence will be fellow England international Phil Jagielka, who has a few years of top level football behind him. Considered one of the best defenders in the country, Jagielka is also respected as a club captain, and Stones has admitted that it is the 32-year-old who has been instrumental in his recent development.

Speaking to the official Everton matchday programme, the young centre-half said: “Jags [Jagielka] has been great for me. He’s such a lively character and he’s always had his arm around me, in good times and bad, and I can’t thank him enough.

“Playing with him is just so easy - both in terms of getting along and understanding-wise - and he’s such a mentor for me and the other younger lads around the club.”

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