Ex-Everton star Don Hutchison hails Rolls Royce defender John Stones

The England and Everton defender has been dividing opinion in recent weeks.

Everton put in an excellent performance in the Capital One Cup semi-final against Manchester City yesterday to take a 2-1 lead into the second leg of the tie at The Etihad Stadium.

The Toffees were in great form throughout the team, with Romelu Lukaku, Mo Besic and Gareth Barry particularly impressive.

But once again John Stones excelled.

The England international has been criticised by some in the game recently because of his ability to play the ball out from the back and his desire not to hoof the ball long - as English defenders are supposed to do.

His style may sometimes incite panic attacks, it is by far more refreshing than the ugly and traditional style of English defending.

Yesterday, when Everton were down to ten men after Seamus Coleman's injury, that style showed its benefits.

Stones was cool and calm in possession, meaning Everton did not come under mass pressure from City despite a numerical disadvantage.

It had one former Everton player purring. Don Hutchison, who was at Everton for two seasons, posted this message on his official Twitter account:

There is no doubt that Stones is a defender with mass promise and as he is still young he will soon realise the times when he has to do the simple thing first and when he can utilise his skill-set to evade opposition pressure in his own unique way.

Hopefully he doesn't change too much though, as he is easily the most promising centre-back in this country since Ledley King or Rio Ferdinand.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch