Paul Merson says Everton were wrong not to sell John Stones

Paul Merson believes Everton should have sold John Stones.

SkySports pundit Paul Merson has criticised Everton for not cashing in on John Stones.

Merson argues letting Stones go will make little difference to their final Premier League position, and the club are holding him back.

He said: "They held onto John Stones, but there was a lot of money on the table and I think they should have taken the money.

"What's the difference between him being there and not being there? Two positions?"

The former Arsenal, Aston Villa and Portsmouth midfielder went onto grade Everton's transfer window as a 'C', adding that he was uninspired by the additions of Gerard Deulofeu and Tom Cleverley.

According to SkySports' net spend table data, Everton spent £12.95 million, the 12th highest in the Premier League, but if they had taken £30 million for Stones they would have been 20th.

While supporters may have been demanding more action in terms of incoming deals, Everton clearly felt selling Stones would have sent the wrong message about their ambition, and fuelled fan frustration.

Perhaps if Chelsea's bids came in May, giving the Toffees time to assess the market and plan properly, they would have been more tempted to sell, but doing so with less than a week of the transfer window to go would have given them very few avenues to spend the money wisely.

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