Jamie Redknapp has told The Mail he believes Everton defender John Stones is best off having avoided Chelsea in the summer.
The BBC reported that Stones handed in a transfer request in August in an effort to force through a move to Stamford Bridge, but Everton stood firm and resisted the player's wishes, and substantial monetary offers from Chelsea.
Chelsea have had a horrific start to the season by their high standards, and Redknapp says Stones has had a lucky escape. He even suggested the defender can aim higher, and has the ability to play for one of Spain's giants.
He said: "After all that has happened since, moving to Stamford Bridge would have stunted his development.
"He's much better playing week in, week out at Everton and it clearly showed as he glided around the pitch at West Ham. At times it looks like the game is too easy for him and that's my only worry because he can get complacent and switch off, as he did against Sunderland last weekend. His ability, however, is phenomenal and he will only get better.
"After the experience of having another year in the team there is no reason why Stones can't go and play for a team like Barcelona or Real Madrid. He won't be at Goodison Park forever, but for now Everton is the best place for him."
From Everton's perspective, fans will hope that Stones has realised what Redknapp is saying, that the grass is not necessarily greener and there are no guarantees in football.
Chelsea of course had hoped Stones would be a difference maker for them, and they would surely be better off if they had signed him. Everton are getting their reward for resisting Chelsea's advances, while the Blues are paying the price for the lack of a viable back-up plan.