Report: Contract talks planned for Stones

by | 15/01/2016  77 Comments  [Jump to last]
Everton will sit down with John Stones, Muhamed Besic and Bryan Oviedo once the current transfer window has closed to discuss new terms, according to a report.

Speculation that Stones would be offered an improved contract has been in the air ever since his request for a transfer a week before the summer transfer deadline was rejected by the club and the Liverpool Echo now claim that talks could take place next month.

Stones was the subject of four reported bids from Chelsea last August but the Blues were resolute in not selling despite a final offer believed to have been in the region of 37m.

In the interim, Chelsea's defence of their 2014-15 Premier League title has imploded but press stories continue to link the Londoners with a move for Stones while there has also been talk of interest from Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Oviedo, meanwhile, is out of contract at the end of this season but Everton will explore a new deal for the fullback now that he appears to have regained his fitness.

The Costa Rican has battled a succession of injuries, including a broken metatarsal bone in his foot and hamstring issues, since he suffered a double leg fracture in January 2014 but made his latest return to the side as an emergency right back in the FA Cup win over Dagenham & Redbridge last Saturday.

Finally, Besic looks set to be rewarded for his impact on the side in recent matches which have cemented his reputation as one of a number bright young stars in the Everton team. The Bosnian has overcome his own hamstring problems and has slotted into the team seamlessly in James McCarthy's absence.  


Reader Comments (77)

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Oliver Molloy
1 Posted 15/01/2016 at 17:38:05
I like Oviedo, he has similar qualities to Besic in terms of commitment and is a good footballer. I would be happy for him to stay with Everton providing the club are convinced his injury nightmares are behind him.

Regards Stones, this is most likely protecting our asset. As much as I would like to for the likes Andy Gray to eat his words, I do think it is only a matter of time before he wears a new club crest... oh well we do have Mason Holgate to look forward to...

Scott Goin
2 Posted 15/01/2016 at 17:51:16
Stones still has 3 years remaining on his current contract. We still have a lot of power in transfer negotiations. If we offer him a new contract with improved wages, it will be to try and keep him at Everton for next year.

I like Oviedo but it's hard to see him getting much playing time with Baines, Garbutt, and Galloway around. He's adequate at playing left midfield but not really my first choice. Would hate to see him go for free but I'm not sure how much we can afford to pay him.

Besic has been great recently and probably deserves a new contract.

Ian Robert
3 Posted 15/01/2016 at 17:53:26
Ah let Stones feck off if he wants... if we can get Real to pay big bucks, snap their hands off.

Besic is an absolute must to keep an I very much like Oviedo. Mind they may think, "If this twat prefers Howard and Kone... we're fecked."
Conor Skelly
4 Posted 15/01/2016 at 18:03:37
I can't see the justification of offering Oviedo a new contract. A tidy player, yes, but spends far too much time in the physio room and is only a squad player when fully fit.

I'd offer Besic a new contract but not while his stock is at an all time high. Wait and see how he performs over a sustained period and evaluate it then.

We should be careful with the Stones situation. If we offer him new terms and he rejects them the media will get wind of it and press the issue even harder than before.

James Flynn
5 Posted 15/01/2016 at 18:03:56
Unless he wants to leave, Oviedo will re-sign.

Besic, too

Stones put in a transfer request before. So we'll see there.

Gordon Crawford
6 Posted 15/01/2016 at 18:04:03
I think this is a bad idea. I believe that Stones will leave this summer. So I wouldn't give him a new contract.
Colin Glassar
7 Posted 15/01/2016 at 18:04:41
Great news; we need to keep all three and make John Stones captain.
Joe Clitherow
8 Posted 15/01/2016 at 18:07:37
Gordon (#6),

Why on earth would you not give a new contract? It is good business as it drives up the price any potential suitor has to pay the longer the contract remaining.

Albert Perkins
9 Posted 15/01/2016 at 18:17:01
Stone's agent will want a buy-out clause for a new contract. But better wages might keep him here for another season. This will give us time to find the right replacement. If it's Holgate, then Hallaluyah! If not then we can pay good money for a top player.

It is satisfying that young, talented players want to come to Goodison instead of signing for a top four club and sitting on the bench.

Brin Williams
10 Posted 15/01/2016 at 18:19:37
Interesting situation this given that we are supposedly in Due Diligence with the Yanks – what does it tell us?

Have they, the Yanks, told us to get them signed up, before they buy or have they already pulled out or are we just rewarding our players for their efforts – of course that rules out Oviedo as we haven't seen much of his efforts lately.

Either way, it makes sense to try and tie up both Stones and Besic at market rates.

Robin Cannon
11 Posted 15/01/2016 at 18:24:04
If we sign Stones to a new contract I think that would be a really positive message; would imply strongly that he'd be staying with us for at least one more season.
Colin Glassar
12 Posted 15/01/2016 at 18:31:14
Real Madrid have a transfer embargo (after this window), Barca are skint, Chelsea can't afford him and I don't think he wants to play for LVG so he might stay for another season or two.
Henrik Lyngsie
13 Posted 15/01/2016 at 18:38:14
Mourinho will make him his first signing for Manchester United...
Jim Bennings
14 Posted 15/01/2016 at 19:07:05
Stones signing a new contract means nothing, it doesn't mean he's doing us a favour, it just means we possibly get an extra few million quid when the bidding starts, didn't Mirallas sign a new contract last summer? Fellaini a year before he was sold for £27 million? Means nothing.
Steve Woods
15 Posted 15/01/2016 at 19:14:39
Let's just hope that Martinez isn't given another contract extension and pay hike.
Andy Walker
16 Posted 15/01/2016 at 19:24:26
Don't know why we would want to pay Stones more, would this really keep him at our club next season, I don't think so. All it will do is piss money away.

He's a great prospect, but that's the point, prospect, his defending is not in the same league as his ability to bring the ball out. His prime job should be to defend (Martinez might like to think about that) and I don't think it's a coincidence that our best defensive performance came when he wasn't playing CB this week. Jags is a much more solid centre half.

If another club is daft enough to give us £40m+ for him, bite their hand off.

Gordon Crawford
17 Posted 15/01/2016 at 19:24:31
Jim, you're right. But signing a new contract doesn't mean extra money. Depends on what the buy-out clause is.

But it does mean more money for Stones's own back pocket.

Mike Hayes
18 Posted 15/01/2016 at 19:32:32
Try to keep all three to keep consistency at the club – with Byram and possibly Yarmolenko on the rumour mill more competition for places – another striker if Naismith goes and get shot of Kone – Steve Woods – my sentiments entirely.
Robin Cannon
19 Posted 15/01/2016 at 19:48:56
If he signs the contract then it'd likely mean he was staying for at least one more year. He still has three years on his existing; so it's not like an extension would make any difference to a sale price this close season.
Dennis Ng
20 Posted 15/01/2016 at 19:59:53
They will probably add provisions and release clauses probably...
Mike Berry
21 Posted 15/01/2016 at 20:08:18
Move heaven and earth to keep them. In particular Mo Besic who is getter better with every match.
Jamie Crowley
23 Posted 15/01/2016 at 20:53:50
Brin -

I don't think the Yank owners will have put stipulations while in due diligence on the contracts of current players.

They may have a plan, pending takeover, to do just that. But to say, "we want you to do XYZ with this player's contract" before they've signed papers would fall on deaf ear I'd think.

It is possible they're so far into advanced negotiations and things are going so swimmingly that the current management team at Everton is comfortable acquiescing to requests? But if I were Everton I'd politely tell them we'd be running the Club the way we deem fit until they sign.

And then in a friendly fashion say, "but we'll take it under advisement and definitely look into it for you."

Who knows...

Andrew Presly
24 Posted 15/01/2016 at 21:02:48
Keep these players. Martinez is impressing me outwith the football matches.
James Stewart
25 Posted 15/01/2016 at 21:08:11
Do we really need Baines, Galloway, Oviedo, Garbutt? 4 left backs probably overkill. I like Oviedo but its hard to see him being needed once Garbutt returns unless he can find a new position.

Besic is a class act and I hope he stays first choice even when McCarthy is fit again.

Stones, I can't see staying. Lukaku as well unless we are top 5/6 minimum which is highly unlikely on current form.

Kieran Kinsella
26 Posted 15/01/2016 at 21:28:26
James Stewart,

Agreed. Same can be said of defenders in general. If we sign Byram, we have Baines Stones Jags and Coleman as back four. Waiting in the wings Oviedo, Garbutt, Galloway, Holgate, Foulds, Browning, Pennington, Funes Mori, Byram, Kenny. Given that the starters are good for at least a few more years, we are keeping a lot of people on the payroll that can expect to get very little action in the next few years.

Similar story with strikers. RM doesn't seem to trust anyone but Lukaku and Stones but he's stockpiling players that based on their lack of first team involvement are quite cutting the mustard. McAleny, Byrne, Henen, Rodriguez, Duffus, now the Swiss lad.

John Jones
27 Posted 15/01/2016 at 21:33:21
Oviedo, Baines, Galloway and Garbutt. Let's get some perspective, Baines is in slow decline and we may see him covering at CM when Gibson moves on in the summer. Oviedo has injury problems but is also adequate cover at LM, Galloway needs to be eased into CB starting next season and I think Garbutt is our long-term LB. Baines and Oviedo are going to miss games barring a miracle now so having good cover makes sense.

Give Stones a contract at the very least it will mean we get another season out of him and who knows with investment we could push top 4 next season.

Besic is Besic, give him a new deal as he and McCarthy will become our CM pairing for possibly the next 5 years.

Not mentioned in the article but we have Osman, Pienaar, Gibson and Hibbo out of contract in the summer, what do people think on them? For me I would get Ossie for 1 more year and retain Hibbo as a youth coach, move the others out.

Harold Matthews
28 Posted 15/01/2016 at 21:40:54
Mo Besic and Bryan Oviedo. Two of my favourite players. Internationals with attitude and football intelligence. Get them signed up now.

Stones? Don't know where we are with this lad. Does he prefer to move elsewhere? I knock his lack of urgency but his ability on the ball is second to none. Being unsettled is not helping his performances and he'll just have to try and block things out till the summer. Not easy for one so young and inexperienced. A higher wage will help keep him here but if he wants to move on we won't try to stop him.

Tom Bowers
29 Posted 15/01/2016 at 21:48:34
Let's be honest, Everton may not offer Oviedo that much of a new contract given the injury record – especially as they have others ready to step in.

Besic and Stones obviously have to command something lucrative as they are undoubted talents with many years to offer but anything can happen as Stones in particular may want a team ready to play in Champions League which Everton are not.

Gerard Carey
30 Posted 15/01/2016 at 22:03:05
If we don't make even Europa League next season, could be hard keeping all those players happy.
Drew O'Neall
31 Posted 15/01/2016 at 22:10:44
I hear a lot about Stones's ability to 'bring the ball out', and apparently that's what makes the difference between a 㾶m defender and a 㿞m one.

Well I like my centre back to have these attributes in this order:

Aerial strength
Pace
Muscularity
Organisation
Bravery
Leadership
Passing range
Two footedness
Intelligence

If he has all those things and he can 'bring the ball out' then fine, that's a 㿞m man but Stones doesn't.

What does bringing the ball out of the 18 yard box actually achieve anyway? Unless he's going to dribble the length of the pitch he has to give it to Barkley etc and I'd be happier with a fella who can defend and then pass it.

Andy Meighan
32 Posted 15/01/2016 at 22:19:29
Barca... Madrid... Chelsea... yawn, yawn, yawn. Haven't these so-called scouts watched us this season. The kid has been awful. Fantastic at bringing the ball out of defence but can't tackle, can't head a ball, can't see a pass... in fact, I'll go so far as to say, if we were offered stupid money, I'd take it.

Centre-backs can be replaced. He's no better than Funes Mori. Although perversely I do like a left-foot & right-foot centre-back pairing because I believe it gives the side more balance. But, that said, Jagielka has overcome his injury problems so he and Funes Mori could make a good partnership.

I really believe Stones had his head turned earlier in the campaign and its got to him. If he goes... great: we've got big money; if he stays, it only strengthens the squad.
John Daley
35 Posted 15/01/2016 at 22:26:02
Drew,

I think it's more than just 'bringing the ball out' that makes Stones appealing to the sort of clubs who can afford to shell out £50M. It's his all round composure, confidence and coolness on the ball. The fact he wasn't phased at all by making the step up to Premier League football. His young age, with centre halves usually improving as they gain experience and know how. The fact he's also English inevitably whacks a premium on there as well. The sensible hair cut probably doesn't hurt either.

He's by no means the finished article, but it would take a brave blind man (think Daredevil, Rutger Hauer in that film where he uses a samurai sword, or Richard Pryor in See No Evil, Hear No Evil) to deny he's got a very bright future ahead of him...

Drew O'Neall
36 Posted 15/01/2016 at 22:47:17
Hahahahaha
Danny O'Neill
37 Posted 15/01/2016 at 22:52:25
Drew, if your centre back can play football as well as defend then you have a gem and we have that in John Stones. The attributes you list are everything you want in a defender; the order of priority depends clearly on opinion but also on how good a team you are. Top teams have centre backs who can "bring the ball out".

If your centre back is contributing to the attack as well as just being there to shut up shop, you're in a good place. Ferdinand with Man Utd, Hansen with Liverpool (who personally I think Stones's style most resembles); genuinely top teams can play from the back too.
Drew O'Neall
38 Posted 15/01/2016 at 22:55:03
John,

I know why he's so well thought of and yes, I see it too but, apart from it being attractive to the eye, what does his composure (and sensible haircut) actually achieve?

He doesn't do anything around the opponent's penalty area; his composure is on the ball around our area and, while it definitely sets him apart from other defenders, there is no significant value to it.

He doesn't score headers or drill them in from 40 yards; he just doesn't lose it or pass it when he has it at the back... That's very impressive but not THAT useful defensively of offensively.

Don't get me wrong, I like him and think he has a great future but he doesn't yet show the sort of composed DEFENDING that Rio Ferdinand used to.

Anyway, I hope he stays or we get top dollar.

Drew O'Neall
39 Posted 15/01/2016 at 23:00:43
Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman.
Anthony Dwyer
40 Posted 15/01/2016 at 23:06:12
Great news if it all materialises, Besic and Stones on long term deals and Oviedo maybe a 2-year deal.

Stones getting a new deal should benefit him wages wise, but should not include any sort of buy-out clause.

Besic should be massively tied down and treated with respect as he's an asset for us going forward.

Oviedo is a good little utility player who fills in at right back and left midfield, he's never really likely to regain the left-back slot as Baines is head and shoulders above him, and we have Galloway and Garbutt for the future.

Kase Chow
41 Posted 15/01/2016 at 23:07:40
Drew (#33),

Good point, well made.

Andy Bone
42 Posted 15/01/2016 at 23:18:50
I haven't read all the posts but the cynic in me thinks the new contract for Stones will be improved terms and a huge buyout clause to protect us. Besic and Oviedo are definite must to keep.

Garbutt and Baines will be left backs – don't forget, Baines got injured after we put Garbutt on loan, leading to the extended run at left back for Galloway. RM has inferred in the past that he sees Galloway as centre-back... Browning too, I believe.
Lloyd Brodrick
44 Posted 16/01/2016 at 01:48:10
Stones is quite a difficult decision; like him and respect his style but I want a defender first. Basic I love as he has passion, skill and vision, sign him up.

I get frustrated how easily so many mark Oviedo as some sort of sicknote. Class player with massive versatility who took one for the team. Massive courage and desire to get back and still recovering. Sign him as we owe him and he will not let us down, awesome in all respects.

Terence Leong
45 Posted 16/01/2016 at 02:18:26
Given that we are lacking in a left midfielder (Martinez seems to resist playing Mirallas there), having a few more left-sided players will only be beneficial to us. Galloway will be a centre back. Baines will probably need replacing in two years – Garbutt is likely the mainstay from the next one or two years onwards. Even if Baines keep himself fit, it's likely that he could be back-up.

Either ways, given that all three of them – Baines, Garbutt and Oveido are attacking-minded, I don't see why we don't explore the option of having two of them play down that flank? It certainly beats having Kone there!!!

Pienaar is due to retire, and Osman will only do a functional job there. Cleverley seems to do well there, but he will do better in a central midfield. Oviedo could double up as a right back (as we have seen), so his contract is worth renewing.

Harold Matthews
46 Posted 16/01/2016 at 02:37:18
Oviedo would be perfect for the right midfield role. He has energy, he can tackle. he can thead an intelligent pass, cross with his right foot as when he put the ball on Pienaar's head and cut in and shoot hard with his left. McCarthy can't do many of those things.
Phil Walling
47 Posted 16/01/2016 at 03:00:43
Oviedo is, at best, a decent reserve who will never become a regular in any position and would not be missed. Stones is over-hyped and must go soon whilst the likes of £40m is offered.

Besic, on the other hand, is an essential element towards a really effective midfield and, to me, a must to retain.

In general, we are carrying too many players well past their best who are blocking the progresses of the next generation.

Garry Corgan
48 Posted 16/01/2016 at 05:29:11
On Besic, as good as he has been recently, I wish I got an improved contract every time I put in a few decent shifts in a row.
Paul Tran
49 Posted 16/01/2016 at 08:47:26
I'll say what I said in the summer re Stones. Take the money, buy a defender who can defend, buy a decent keeper and that elusive goalscoring midfielder. Let's swap what we don't need for what we desperately need.
Mark Hughes
50 Posted 16/01/2016 at 09:15:48
We need to pin these three down. Stones is obvious but Besic and Oviedo could be top grade first teamers for years to come.
John Williams
51 Posted 16/01/2016 at 09:56:22
John Stones is a class act. Anyone on here who can't see that is crazy. Don't forget, he's only 21 and playing in the hardest position on the pitch for someone so young. He will become a true great but sadly not with us.

Quality on the ball and distribution on the main excellent once he's mastered his positional sense will become world class. Regardless of a new contract he'll be gone in the Summer.

Chris James
52 Posted 16/01/2016 at 09:59:57
Ultimately I don't think Stones is as important to our future as keeping hold of Lukaku. Probably also behind Barkley and Deulofeu in the 'need to keep pecking order'.

For all his class and calmness on the ball, the defence he's part of has been a shambles at home and I felt a good deal more confidence in the Distin + Jags partnership of a season or two back than Stones + Funes Mori.

Obviously I'd prefer to keep him, but I think he's far easier to replace with someone competent at a lower cost than Rom.

Colin Glassar
53 Posted 16/01/2016 at 10:08:33
Make JS our captain next season and he will be our best, and most gifted, captain since Brian "Labby" Labone. And that's no exaggeration.
Fran Mitchell
54 Posted 16/01/2016 at 10:39:19
Ah has the time turned on Stones?

Top class defender, we want to be top club so keeping him is a must.

Some people have said 'defenders are easy to replace'. I would say this is absolute nonsense. Look at Arsenal, Liverpool and Man Utd. They've had immense trouble in replacing their previous solid defences, despite throwing money at it. Look at Man City's difficulty whenever Kompany is out, despite having two £30 million plus defenders. Chelsea are loathe to drop Terry and know replacing him will be hard work.

Top class defenders are few and far between. Stones is still young, so of course is learning and improving and far from the finished article.

But some people are saying let's sell because we have Holgate, Galloway and co. Christ, Galloway looks a good prospect, but not in the same league. Holgate is a reserve and we have no idea how good he is.

Jagielka is ageing and has never been a defender of the top bracket, he's a good and reliable while not world class defender. Stones could be, and we should be aiming for Stones to become our future captain.

Fran Mitchell
55 Posted 16/01/2016 at 10:53:36
Also, I'm a bit perplexed by some of the comments that 'he ain't vital to the style of play'. What?

He is so vital to the style of play. Attacking, possession based football is not just about the midfield. He need of having a defender than is composed on the ball, can hold possession is huge.

The defender receives the ball, and the team is set up in a defensive manner. Having a defender who can win the ball, and then keep it in a composed manner allows the shape to change to an attacking one. It gives the midfielders and attackers time to position themselves, for the full backs to run forward.

If the defender simply receives the ball and immediately a) hoof it or b) make short pass, more often than not possession is lost rather quickly.

Stones is central to our future, and furthermore, keeping him is a statement of intent to our other young stars.

Laurie Hartley
56 Posted 16/01/2016 at 10:56:32
I am made up about us giving Besic a new contract and think we should keep Stones at all costs. But...

Brian Oviedo has got a heart as big as a lion as well as being a good footballer. Sometimes in life you have to back someone on a hunch against the odds. I think Brian Oviedo can be a great player for us. I think it is a good shout by Martinez to give him a new contract.

I think the last time we beat a Sky 4 team away from home was Man Utd in Martinez's first season – Brian Oviedo scored the winner.

Colin Glassar
57 Posted 16/01/2016 at 11:56:26
Fran, it would appear that some would be happy to have a 20st, 6ft 5in, hairy-legged, NFL type Neanderthal in defence as long as they can jump, tackle and snarl.

The greatest centre halves have been the likes of Beckenbauer, Moore, Maldini, Cannavaro (midget btw), Hansen (yuck, hated saying that), Ferdinand etc..... What is the common denominator? All of them were comfortable on the ball, all were supremely confident in their own ability, all had ice in their veins (unlike most fans), all became legends as will John Stones, at Everton or not.

Myopia is an ailment which can be fixed, stupidity and ignorance is another matter

Dave Brierley
58 Posted 16/01/2016 at 12:17:23
Beautifully put, Colin. Agree with every word.
Denis Richardson
59 Posted 16/01/2016 at 13:09:46
I'm still scratching my head about what all the fuss is about re Stones to be honest. As mentioned by others above, a defenders' first job is to defend. If he can do other stuff then great but I'd rather have a defender who can defend and not play than the other way round.

Granted, Stones may/will become a much better defender with time but for now I just cannot see why any club would pay the kind of money Chelsea were offering in the summer, unless they are waiting for him to 'mature'. If we get an offer anywhere north of £30-35m I'd sell and look to the future and bring someone else in.

Besic needs to be signed up and Oviedo should be offered a contract with a pay as you play clause. Stones? Sell if we get a stupid offer, our defence has been a joke for much of the season as it is.

Denis Richardson
60 Posted 16/01/2016 at 13:29:44
Colin (#51) – are you really trying to compare John Stones to the likes of Beckenbauer and Maldini?? – some of the greatest players the game has ever seen? That's one of the strangest things I've ever read on TW.

Stones may have huge potential but right now he's not even on the same planet as these players, nevermind the same league! He has so much to learn still and his defensive game needs to improve a shed load.

Just for your info, Beckenbauer by the age of 22 was already captain of Bayern having taken them to the league title, a German Cup and a European title, nevermind finishing runner up at the 1966 World Cup. Maldlini made his Milan debut at age 17 and by age 20 had already been a first team regular for 3 years and had a league title under his belt!

I know we love to rave about Stones but there is no way this kid will be at the level of a Beckenbauer or Maldini – two of the best defenders the game will ever see. Let's try to keep things a bit realistic at least.

Just because PSG paid £50M for side show Bob does not mean he's one of the best defenders the game has ever seen...

Brin Williams
61 Posted 16/01/2016 at 13:33:32
How do we compare Stones to say our very own Brian Labone?
Paul Tran
62 Posted 16/01/2016 at 13:40:46
Labone and Beckenbauer were excellent defenders first, excellent footballers second. Stones is an excellent footballer, without being a good defender.....yet. Either way, there's no comparison.
Jamie Barlow
63 Posted 16/01/2016 at 13:56:23
Andy@ 18 Why would he sign a new contract in January and fuck off in the summer?

I can't see a release clause being put into his new contract. Unless it's a ridiculous figure. Say £60 million.

I don't know about him being a new Beckenbauer but he has the potential to be a great player. He is quality goods and some Evertonians aren't arsed if he goes. Probably the same ones who wanted Lukaku to fuck off as he'd never learn how to improve his game. I do wonder sometimes whether I watch the same game as others.

Karl Jones
64 Posted 16/01/2016 at 14:44:48
Ridiculous... I wouldn't give him a new contract after he put in a transfer request. Certainly not one with an escape clause in it as his agent will demand. If he's not 100% committed, get rid of him in the summer and get someone stronger who can head the ball.

We need a Watson, Mountfield or Labone type, not someone who tries stepovers inside his own penalty area, then calls the supporters pricks for telling him to get rid of it.
Colin Glassar
65 Posted 16/01/2016 at 14:48:13
We will see. It's seems to me, it's only (a tiny minority) some Everton fans who don't seem to rate John Stones. Listen to the pundits, present and former players, fans from other teams and everyone in the game wants John Stones in their team, EVERYONE!!!

Last season it was Lukaku and Barkley who were in the "shite, overrated, let's sell" category. This season it appears to be Stones. Oh, and Dennis the likes of Maldini, Beckenbauer, Moore etc...made mistakes, sometimes overplayed it, got caught out, fell on their arses, gave away penalties etc.... Sorry, I forgot, Everton players are expected to be perfect aren't they?

Phil Sammon
66 Posted 16/01/2016 at 15:54:49
Exactly Colin.

How many other 21-year-old centre-backs are there in the Premier League? He lacks strength and experience but so did every great centre-back at his age. He's a bloody joy to watch and I wouldn't trade him for any other centre-back in the league.

Ian Riley
67 Posted 16/01/2016 at 17:25:38
Our defending is a shambles at times! As a defensive unit we are all over the place! Stones is a very good defender but mid-table is not going to keep him. Defending is not a priority of our manager. That is the most worrying!

Players want success and Champions League. Sadly we cannot offer either.

£50 million for Stones, yes please!

Ernie Baywood
68 Posted 17/01/2016 at 02:59:03
According to the Daily Mail, Barca had scouts at Stamford Bridge to watch Stones. So that should be at least one club off the radar.
Gavin Johnson
69 Posted 17/01/2016 at 03:20:47
If we get a offer in the region of £50m for Stones I'd resolutely sell.

I don't like selling our best players but I don't think we're at the right level to accommodate him. If we were a Champions league outfit and had a settled winning team. All would be good. But unfortunately we're not.

At this point in time I think John Stones is a luxury player who has too many mistakes in him. I think we look safer when Funes Mori is partnering Jags. I thought we looked better once Funes Mori came on... Even though we conceded the goal that should of never of stood in the 98th minute.

If this takeover happens and we raise our profile in the media. So we are no longer seen as plucky little Everton who have to look down the back of the sofa every time we're linked to a player. We might be able to hold onto Stones if we have the investment to improve the squad without having to sell. Winning a cup will also help keep the likes of Stones and Rom.

That's a lot of big 'if's'. As things stand with this current board I think we have to sell and reinvest. £50m would buy 3 top players.

Nigel Gregson
70 Posted 17/01/2016 at 03:43:42
Colin – I'd love to see how many game's Stones played in and managed a clean sheet. He's great at completing passes and playing ball out of the back. But we've been crying for two years how bad our defence has been and guess who has been in the defence for two years? Everton, are paying by points for training him up, hopefully the price is right when we sell him.
Fran Mitchell
71 Posted 17/01/2016 at 11:37:02
Nigel, our defensive frailties are a result of a keeper that doesn't manage the box. Added to a manager that doesn't know how to set the team up with balance.

A good defence starts with the keeper, he is the organiser. Blaming Stones is idiocy.

Jags is getting older, slower and ever more unreliable. Our future should be Funes Mori and Stones, plus a new keeper (Robles is not the answer).

Steve Guy
72 Posted 17/01/2016 at 18:27:55
Blue Bill: "So, John, we have a great contract on the table for you. Treble your wages, bonuses for turning up etc......here's a pen to sign with, tell you what you can keep it too! Anyway, sign just there on the dotted line......"

Stones: "Mr Kenwright, will Mr Martinez be in charge next season?"

Billy Liar: "Err... yes."

Stones: "Thanks but no thanks. I want to win stuff."

Repeat for about half the squad.......

Colin Glassar
73 Posted 17/01/2016 at 18:42:21
Good point, Nigel. Who has been in our defence over the last two years? I'll tell you who: Howard, Coleman, Stones, Jagielka and Baines. So what? Are you suggesting, that we sell all of them? Or is it all down to Stones? Honestly, just say you don't rate him but don't try and blame our defensive woes on him and him alone.

By the way, the other four players were regulars under OFM with his now legendary, and mythical, defence. Would you think that, after all those endless hours of practice and drills, that they'd remember to do the basics? Of course not, it's agent Stones who's wrecked our defence.

Paul Tran
74 Posted 17/01/2016 at 19:04:25
Colin, of course it's not solely down to Stones. My take on this is that we don't need a ball-playing centre-half who isn't that good at defending. We desperately need a commanding keeper, a commanding centre-back and that tricky midfielder who scores goals. Maybe if we'd taken the money in the summer, we could have bought at least two of those, which, in my view, would have us a lot higher up the table.

The 'system' doesn't lead to schoolboy errors by supposed experienced internationals who were apparently impregnable under the previous regime.

I'm trying to get my head round the idea that overpaid professional footballers 'forget' how to do their jobs because the new manger prefers a more open style of football, but I can't.

Martinez's big failing is his over-reliance on players who don't cut it when it matters and his strange reluctance to play the players he brought to the club to replace them.

Geoff Evans
75 Posted 17/01/2016 at 19:34:32
Forty million plus for Stones, take it quick. Besic and Oviedo both better value.
Denis Richardson
76 Posted 17/01/2016 at 19:44:02
Colin (#61) – I don't believe I said in my post that I don't rate Stones. I said I don't get what all the fuss is about. The fact that pundits rave on about him and the so-called 'big clubs' are sniffing around may or may not mean anything. Enough players have been hyped up way before their time.

Fact is the kid has a long long way to go just to be a class defender, never mind comparing him to some of the greatest players the game has seen. At this time anyway, it's ridiculous. He may mature into a class player in a few years but that's not now and he'll be long gone anyway if he ever does. If we're offered silly money again I'd take it and reinvest in the squad. A decent keeper and a CB who can defend properly would be a good start.

Then again, if our manager doesn't believe in defending a lead with a few mins to go, then Stones is definitely going to be gone sooner rather than later.

Steven Jones
77 Posted 18/01/2016 at 07:58:10
Steve Guy ...

I actually think it is the opposite .. RM is why we attracted the likes of Del Boy and Rom... and all of the new young talent ...

We are not a champions league club and do not pay 120K pw wages

Colin Glassar
78 Posted 18/01/2016 at 08:42:13
Well, obviously we differ in our appreciation of JS and his present and future. I've watched enough football over the years to make an educated guess about a young players potential to say this kid will be huge and become a star.

Unfortunately, in this day and age fans want immediate success and no longer seem to have the patience to watch, and appreciate, the development of a young team and young players. So let's sell our youngsters as who wants to wait until they fulfill their potential? Let's go down the Southampton route re players. And the rs route re managers! Who gives a shit about team building? Let's have a revolving door policy and become as shallow and superficial as the majority of teams in the prem.

Dave Pritchard
79 Posted 18/01/2016 at 09:00:43
Stones is really dividing opinion. On current form I would say that he is not worth anything like £40 million. It is possible that with more games under his belt and an increase in his physical and mental strength he could become a great centre-half. Do we want to experience the shorter term pain for the longer term gain? If you twisted my arm I would say sell for a very large fee if one comes in the summer.
Jim Hardin
80 Posted 21/01/2016 at 12:59:41
For those claiming Stones is the next coming of God, maybe but it would be a miracle. Seems to me he is like David Luiz and what happened when Chelsea offloaded him? Oh yeah, they won the EPL. So can we please put to bed the need for a centerback who can play the ball out of the box performing a ballet while doing so?

Collin, your reply regarding the defenders made the point for the other side didn't it? Of the back line two years ago, who is the only change from a solid defense? Wait for it. Stones in place of Distin. So please tell me how he doesn't get the blame? One player has a huge effect in the back four. Look at Chelsea with its right back problems with Ivan the Terrible out of form early this season and teams running riot over that side of the defense despite a very good Belgian keeper.

With Stones in as centerback you better have LLoris as the keeper as he will be needed to fill the spot his defender should be in. Tell me how Stoens has improoved at all in positional sense and awareness or defending set pieces?

The comment by some poster as to the media loving the kid isn't qqquite true. Every game I watch over here, the English and Irish and maybe Scottish broadcasters talk about Stones being able to dribble and being composed but then mention as an aside that he needs to "tighten" up his defense. WTF? Shouldn't that be the first thing a defender in the spine of the defense gets right?

I rate Stones highly as a midfielder or right back but not as a center back as watching him avoid too many challenges on crosses, I think he lacks the "Stones" required of the position.

James Flynn
81 Posted 21/01/2016 at 13:46:26
If Roberto stays, Stones will only leave for more money. He basically:

1. Does whatever he wants;

2. Goes wherever he wants on the pitch whenever he wants;

3. Appears immune from being dropped from the First XI for poor performance (both other "diamonds", Lukaku and Barkley, have been).

Other than higher wages, why would he want to get out from under Roberto's managerial style?

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