Everton boss backs Stones; says judge him after more games

John Stones is still one of the most highly sought after English talents in the game, despite being criticised heavily this season.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has backed his young centre-back John Stones, in response to critics who suggest he has been a liability this season, as reported by The Telegraph.

The Spaniard is under enough pressure himself at the moment, but took time to offer his support to Stones, claiming he is still very young, and should only be judged after 150-200 games:

“He has had too much scrutiny. I don't think someone at 21 should be scrutinised in every action that he does, for good and bad. They deserve a bit of space and they should be left alone a little bit until they make 150, 200 games. Then you can have a stronger judgement."

The 21-year-old has already played 91 times for Everton, including 38 this term. He has found himself the target of heavy criticism from pundits and fans alike for his attempts to play out with the ball even when it has been dangerous to do so. The general consensus within the game is that Stones should learn how to defend properly first before showcasing his abilities on the ball.

He does have his backers however, with Rio Ferdinand a staunch advocate of the young Everton star. He has frequently taken to radio phone in shows to offer his support for Stones, when he has come in line for criticism from fans.

The Everton boss finished off by explaining how with someone of Stones' age and talent, it should be the potential that is focused on rather than every single performance:

“When a young player is developing, it is very much highlighting the potential that he has rather than looking at what he is doing in every action.”

Everton host Bournemouth in the Premier League today as they look to improve on their relatively poor tally of just 41 points this term.

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