John Stones has to play for England, says Paul Merson

John Stones

The defender has fallen out of the first team at Everton in recent months.

John Stones must start in England’s defence at Euro 2016 despite not currently playing for Everton, Paul Merson has told Sky Sports.

The defender had started the season in impressive form, continuing the fine development he has enjoyed since Roberto Martinez took charge at Goodison Park.

Recent months have seen him sitting on the bench though, with many believing that he needs to improve the defensive side of his game to become the top defender his talents suggests he will become.

He was left out of England’s recent 3-2 win over Germany, but Merson says he must start at Euro 2016.

“I know John Stones isn't playing in the Everton team at the moment, but he has to play for England,” he told Sky Sports.

“In international football you need someone who is going to come out and start attacks and play with the ball.”

“You need someone comfortable because it will be boiling hot in France and without someone like him in defence we won't keep the ball and we will fade.”

This season has certainly been a tough one for Stones but his talent on the ball cannot be questioned.

Indeed, even in England’s win in Berlin it was evident to see that Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling were not as comfortable bringing the ball out of defence as the Everton man is.

As Merson says that kind of player will be crucial to England’s hopes, and Stones will hope Roy Hodgson will put his faith in him for this summer’s tournament.

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