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Mountfield predicts big things for Stones

21/06/2015  Comments (14)  jump
A legend from Everton's 1980s heyday, Derek Mountfield, says that he has been impressed with John Stones's rapid development and that he would not be surprised to see the defender named captain of club and country in a few years' time.

Mountfield, a vital member of the Blues trophy-winning side between 1984 and 1987, has been watching the Barnsley-born centre-half since he broke into the first team under Roberto Martinez a little under two years ago and sees many similarities with himself.

He stresses that although the 21-year-old is an international star in the making, it's important that he develops a tough side to deal with the rigours of marking some of the Premier League's top strikers and become a true leader.

John Stones is a very slight lad but deep down I think he knows his own strength," Mountfield says in the Liverpool Echo. "We just have to be careful that we don't drift into letting him become too much of a ball-playing centre-half and not someone who can lead the team, dominate and overcome certain types of centre-forwards.

He's a tremendous prospect, though, and he seems to be getting better every time I see him.

A bit like myself he's prone to mistakes but all you can do is learn from them and become a better player.

I wouldn't be surprised if within the next five or six years he's not only captained Everton but captained his country.

Stones has recovered from the concussion that he suffered in a training ground with England U21 keeper Jack Butland but protocol for such head injuries mandates that in addition to Thursday's defeat to Portugal he sits out today's clash with Sweden as well.

He will be in line for a recall in the final group game against Italy, however, a match that Gareth Southgate's side will almost certainly need to win regardless of their result against the Swedes.

Quotes sourced from Liverpool Echo

Reader Comments (14)

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Colin Glassar
1 Posted 21/06/2015 at 08:59:07
IÂ’ve said it before and IÂ’ll say it again, Stonesy reminds me a lot of the likes of Beckenbauer, Moore, Hansen etc..... This kid can be as good as he wants to be.
Phil Sammon
2 Posted 21/06/2015 at 09:22:18
Stones is as graceful a player as youÂ’re ever likely to see. The way he strides out of defence with the ball is a joy to behold. He just needs to get a bit more physical.

Right now, as good as he is, I doubt he strikes fear in the oppositionÂ’s forwards. If he could somehow add that to his game then heÂ’d be world class. Experience will only help. Great lad too. Heading in the right direction.

Liam Reilly
3 Posted 21/06/2015 at 09:43:57
Much like Barkley, thereÂ’s a need to be patient with the lad and refrain from bigging him up too much too soon.

Let him first have a dominant season and cement his place in the starting 11 before talking about captaining the side.

Much respect for Mountfield though; one of the unsung heroes of the 80s; he seemed to always pop up with a header when it was most important.

Matt Traynor
4 Posted 21/06/2015 at 09:38:14
I really hate these predictions of how players are going to turn out, as if thereÂ’s not enough pressure and expectation on them already.

Probably the only one whoÂ’s fulfilled the early promise is Rooney, and he left us at 18 when he was far from the finished article.

Years back I recall reading The Observer at Uni (a friend mustÂ’ve brought it round as IÂ’ve never bought it) and it had a huge feature on the next big thing, who would go on to captain club and country for a decade.

John Ebbrell.

I know his career was blighted by injury etc but they do this to players all the time (not just Everton either).

Anyway, Mountfield, despite his modesty, made very few mistakes, and if he did directly leak a goal, was more than likely to pop at least one in to rectify the situation. A fantasy football playerÂ’s dream, he was.

Denis Richardson
5 Posted 21/06/2015 at 09:49:39
Great player in the making but IÂ’d rather people would stop bigging him up. HeÂ’s still only 21 and learning his trade, he needs at least another 2-3 years before heÂ’ll start reaching his potential. Needs to build up physically, reduce the errors and improve his overall awareness and carry on improving as a defender. Long way from the finished article.

All the hype around Barkley has been like a millstone around his neck. The club and ex-players should stop talking about our youngsters in the press and let them improve in peace and not add more pressure on them saying things like heÂ’ll be a future England captain!

Bobby Thomas
6 Posted 21/06/2015 at 10:01:32
On Ebbrell, it was fairly obvious after a while he was a fairly average, hard working midfielder. No shame in that. IÂ’d have taken that for a professional career.

Stones is another level entirely. Very good point by Mountfield about not settling for that cosy ball-playing role and develop commanding aspects as well. He also needs to eliminate errors. But bearing in mind where he plays and when defenders generally mature, heÂ’s making startling progress.

I will be amazed if heÂ’s with us this time next year.

Colin Glassar
7 Posted 21/06/2015 at 10:23:22
ItÂ’s a prediction based on natural ability. Like anything else in life itÂ’s not a certainty as it depends on the player himself. Stones, Deulofeu, Sergi Roberto (if we get him), Barkley, Garbutt, Lukaku etc.....can go all the way and become superstars but it depends on them. If they donÂ’t have the required mentality, then they will have average careers.
Phil Walling
8 Posted 21/06/2015 at 10:30:50
Like, Ebbrell, Rodwell and, dare I say, Barkley, Stones has been raved over to a ridiculous degree. A more grounded manager would have taken that pressure off him but hey, thatÂ’s the game these days.

Whether he ever captains England as projected by many on here, I care not one jot... but he does look different class. At present.

Mike Green
9 Posted 21/06/2015 at 10:33:34
One of the great advantages Stones has over, say Barkley, is there is no confusion over where to play him. This means he can build on the considerable talent heÂ’s got with experience without being shunted around the pitch and people speculating that he could do better elsewhere and unsettling him.

Alongside his clear ability, he also seems to have his feet firmly on the ground, paired with a clear vision of what he wants (Â’I want to captain Everton and EnglandÂ’).

How long we can hold onto him, I donÂ’t know... but IÂ’ll be amazed, injuries aside, if he doesnÂ’t spend a decade at international level. Enjoy him while we can.

Paul Tran
10 Posted 21/06/2015 at 10:45:48
Mountfield is spot-on. Stones needs to command the box, the space and the players around him. HeÂ’s got lots of talent; for me, defenders need to get the basics right before their footballing skills make them a cut above the rest.

HereÂ’s hoping.......

Harold Matthews
12 Posted 21/06/2015 at 15:24:05
A very good young prospect. As time goes by he will increase his weight and strength but right now he needs to develop a real sense of awareness and urgency when in possession in and around the area.
Ant Dwyer
13 Posted 21/06/2015 at 22:16:13
It certainly isnÂ’t hard to predict certain things in life, especially when youÂ’ve had first hand viewing to make a solid prediction.

John Stones is quiet simply the best footballing centre-half since Rio Ferdinand. HeÂ’s cool calm an clever, he hasnÂ’t ever talked to the press about a move and heÂ’s constantly looking to better himself.

HeÂ’s broken up a solid partnership in dislodging Distin from the Everton defence. HeÂ’s an England international, and heÂ’s already being spoke about as a man who is expected to go to one of the major powers in the country.

With all the above plus having watched him excel in one of the best leagues in the world for two seasons itÂ’s clear what is in front of your eyes.

John Stones is someone we should base our team around, break our wage structure (not yet) and tie down down to as long a contract that is humanly possible.

After weÂ’ve done that we will have a walking talking gold mine on our hands.

Rob Halligan
14 Posted 23/06/2015 at 18:11:46
ThereÂ’s a big article on the Sky website about John Stones, bigging him up to be the next Rio Ferdinand. Very nice of sky to start the ball rolling and put the feelers out to their favourite teams in an attempt to sign Stonesy.

Tom Evans
15 Posted 23/06/2015 at 18:43:17
Rob, Ferdinand was good but was the first of the players to embrace the social media and that helped him portray himself as better than he was.

John Stones in my honest opinion is truly destined for better and bigger things. We all know what that means.

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