Pat Nevin predicts bright future for John Stones, on one condition

The Everton defender has come in for criticism this season.

Pat Nevin would love to see John Stones carry on making mistakes, as it will mean he becomes one of the best ball-playing centre-backs in the world, he has told BBC Sport.

The Everton defender has emerged as one of the hottest young talents in European football in recent years.

However, this season has seen him come in for criticism for the way he plays the game, with many believing he isn’t good enough defensively.

That came into sharp focus in the international break, as his slip led to Danny Rose conceding a penalty in the 2-1 loss to the Netherlands.

Nevin though, says he should be allowed to continue playing out from the back, as that will see him become a top defender in future.

"It is a big debate about Stones,” he told BBC Sport.

“If you keep on playing out from the back, you're going to make mistakes. The question is: Do you want to keep doing that?”

“I would love to see him doing that, because you'll end up with one of the best ball-playing centre-backs in the world."

The current debate around Stones is certainly a fierce one with fans and pundits alike offering their thoughts.

The prevalent idea seems to be that he should model his game on that of Rio Ferdinand, who was also excellent on the ball but first and foremost a top level defender.

There are certainly worse players Stones could copy, with the former England and Manchester United having won 17 major honours during his club career.

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