Liverpool's James Milner sticks up for Everton's John Stones

Liverpool ace stuck up for England teammate and Everton rival John Stones.

John Stones had a mixed performance for England at Wembley which summed up a tricky season for him.

He played a role in England's goal by bringing the ball out at the back, but he also lost possession in the lead up to the Dutch equaliser.

England captain on the night James Milner is full of confidence that Stones is a player of undoubted international quality, praising the Everton defender.

Milner, who signed for Liverpool last summer, told The Mirror: "John Stones is a top-class player. Everyone wants to see us playing out from the back, he is brilliant on the ball, very young and will only get better and keep learning.

“He’s another lad with a great attitude as well.”

Discussing the criticism Stones has received at times this season and after last night's display, Milner suggested it is a case of the media building up and knocking down players.

He added: "He has played so well that he has put himself on that pedestal and people are interested in him and obviously he had the transfer thing earlier in the season.

“When you are playing well you are up there to be shot down — like we talked about Dele [Alli], and people being built up."

Stones was linked with a move away from Everton earlier in the season but the Toffees resisted advances. Unfortunately Stones' form has suffered at times this season, with sections of the Everton support criticising him after a couple of error-laden displays.

This season will be a learning curve for Stones, who is still only 21-years-old, and he will surely go on to live up to his potential.

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