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Look at him now: John Stones and Barnsley

Look at him now: John Stones and Barnsley

It has been quite a decade for John Stones’ career.

From representing Barnsley in the Championship to starting a World Cup semi-final for his country in 2018, the defender’s rise to prominence has been nothing short of spectacular.

The England international was signed as a child by the Tykes in 2001 and became one of the club’s stand-out players in the youth system as he climbed through the ranks at Oakwell. After signing his first contract at Barnsley, Stones made his first senior appearance aged just 18 in a 4-0 home defeat against Reading before making an instant impact in his full-debut for the club in a League Cup tie the following season. With Barnsley facing Rochdale, he headed in an equaliser for his hometown-club and helped them prevail in extra time, avoiding what would have a shock upset in the competition.

His good performances in the cup competitions for the Tykes allowed Stones to establish himself as a key player for the Tykes during the first-half of the 2012/13 campaign as he made 26 appearances, catching the eye of then-Everton boss David Moyes. Having been impressed by the defender’s performances in the Championship, the Scotsman decided to sign him for the Toffees in January 2013.

After several months spent watching from the sidelines at Goodison Park, Stones was finally given the opportunity to play regularly in the 2013/14 season by Moyes’ replacement Roberto Martinez who encouraged him to develop his ball-playing skills. Three successful years saw the former Barnsley man grow into a promising young central defender at Everton as he made 95 appearances for the club in all competitions.

However, despite the Toffees’ historical stature, Stones knew that in order to achieve modern day success, he needed to move on and so when Manchester City came calling, he made his choice to leave. Thanks to a £47.5m deal being agreed between the two Premier League clubs, Barnsley received a healthy sum of £6.79m (according to the Guardian) due to their agreement to include a 15% sell-on clause when they sold him to Everton.

Since joining City, Stones’ career has gone from strength to strength as he was won three major trophies with the club including a record-breaking Premier League triumph last season. On an individual note, the 24-year-old has developed into one of England’s best defenders under the guidance of the masterful Pep Guardiola.

Now a mainstay for his country when fit, Stones scored twice in last year’s World Cup and played an integral role in helping his country reach the semi-final of the competitions, their best result in a major competition in 22 years.

With City now fighting to complete an historic quadruple, the defender could be on course to be remembered as being a key cog in one of football’s all-time greatest sides.

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Article title: Look at him now: John Stones and Barnsley

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