Former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips is not convinced that Everton will make a move for Manchester City’s John Stones in the summer, suggesting that manager Carlo Ancelotti will want a central defender who is more reliable at the back.
A report from TEAMtalk last week claimed that the Toffees are interested in bringing their ex-player back to Goodison Park, with the Premier League champions said to be looking for the £50m fee they paid to sign the 25-year-old back in 2016.
Phillips, however, does not believe he is worth that kind of money and cannot see an Everton homecoming materialising.
Speaking to Football Insider, Phillips said: “John Stones, I quite like him. He’s got to do a lot more, but I like the way he’s on the ball. He’s never afraid to get on the ball. Yeah, he might make the odd mistake, and defensively he needs to be better.
“I don’t see him being worth that kind of money. If I’m being honest, I don’t see Everton going back in for him because I think the manager will be looking for somebody who can be a bit more solid.”
The above is a pretty fair assessment from Phillips. After all, it was only a couple of weeks ago when Stones gave Aston Villa a lifeline in the Carabao Cup final with a sloppy bit of defending, pounced on by Anwar El Ghazi and Mbwana Samatta. That is not to say, though, that Stones has no defensive qualities.
Would you take John Stones back?
According to WhoScored, he is actually winning the most aerial duels per league game in Manchester City’s squad with 3.1. In the Everton ranks (defenders only), that would leave him behind Yerry Mina (4.2) and Michael Keane (four) but above Mason Holgate (1.8), who has been a regular under Ancelotti this term.
As well as that, as Phillips already touched on, Stones is astute on the ball. With 94%, he has the highest passing accuracy out of any Manchester City or Everton player who has started at least one Premier League game in the current campaign.
Furthermore, perhaps Everton moving for the England international in the near future would not be the worst idea after all.
Everton fans, would you like to see Stones back at Goodison Park? Let us know in the comment section below!
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