Under-fire Everton defender John Stones relishing mentor role at club

The defender has helped some of the younger players settle recently.

It has been a tough season for Everton defender John Stones. The young England international has struggled to find his best form in recent months and has found himself on the bench.

However, at the moment he is the club’s senior central defender.

Phil Jagielka is injured whilst Ramiro Funes Mori is still serving a suspension for the red card he picked up against Liverpool in the recent Merseyside derby.

That has meant Stones playing mentor to some of the younger players who have come into the fold such as Matthew Pennington, Callum Connolly and Tom Davies – with the former being his current centre-back partner.

It is a role that the Everton star is relishing.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo the England international stated:

“When Callum and Tom came on, I was just telling them to relax and play their game because they deserve to be there and that’s why they were on the pitch.

“I know there will have been a few nerves; we’ve all been there, coming on for the first time.

“But as soon as they came on I thought they looked like they’d played a lot of games at that level, so credit to them.

“That’s what I wanted to feel - I wanted that advice off an experienced pro when I first got on the pitch, so I took that and gave them the advice that was short and simple really.

“They don’t want to be hearing too much off everyone and a few simple words can calm nerves.

“I hope I did that.”

Stones’ performances have improved since the Merseyside derby and he was fantastic against Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals, even if Everton did end up losing the game.

Stones will now be hoping to prove his credentials as a future leader of this side in the coming weeks as the club look to end a rather disappointing campaign on a high.

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