Noel Whelan believes that Newcastle could face fierce competition from Everton as he tips transfer target John Stones to favour a move to his former club.
As reported by the Telegraph, Rafael Benitez – who could make a return to Newcastle – is keen on signing the centre-back should he make the move from the Chinese Super League.
Stones has had an inconsistent season with Manchester City this term, making just 12 appearances in the Premier League (via Transfermarkt). Although he has won plenty of silverware under Pep Guardiola – including two league titles and an FA Cup – the lack of game-time could be a factor which decides his future.
Would you like to see John Stones return to Everton?
Whelan believes that a return to Stones’ former side Everton could be on the cards. Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “John needs a change. It has been a stop-start season for him but there is a good player there who is still of a good age. He has a lot to offer.”
For a 25-year-old, Stones indeed has a lot in his pedigree. With eight major trophies under his belt, he could improve the backline of a lot of Premier League clubs. The Blues are currently in an exciting period of transition, with their defence an area that could be improved upon.
Everton have conceded 46 league goals this season and the addition of a title-winning centre-back could help tighten things up across the back four. Whelan agrees that a move back to Merseyside would be a logical one for the England international.
“We also know that Everton have been interested in bringing him back as well so they [Newcastle] would have a fight on their hands.
“He could live in Manchester and travel to Liverpool but Newcastle may offer him more money than Everton. It would be a conundrum.”
If he returns to Goodison Park, Stones would more than likely be an integral part of Carlo Ancelotti’s team moving forward, with his domestic and international experience a huge focal point. If the Italian works on building his defence around the 25-year-old, Everton could vastly improve their performances and push to challenge for Europe.
What’s your take on Whelan’s comments, Blues fans? Would you like to see John Stones rejoin the team next season? Have your say in the comments below!
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