The feeling in the Football Transfer Tavern is that the last transfer saga of the summer will revolve around whether Everton centre-back Jon Stones completes a big money move to Chelsea before the close of the window.
Everyone has an opinion on where one of the brightest young defenders in the country will end up, including former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher.
The former Reds vice-captain and current Sky Sports captain may be a villain to Everton supporters, but Carragher has come out in support of Toffees boss Roberto Martinez, insisting Goodison Park would be the best place for Stones to be this season.
Former England international Carragher said in his column for the Daily Mail that Stones would be better off staying at Everton and developing his game at a club where he is guaranteed first team football, despite the obvious interest from the reigning Premier League champions.
“Everton manager Roberto Martinez admitted on Thursday the speculation had affected the 21-year-old and, with so many people talking about his situation, it could not have failed to get to him,” Carragher said.
“He should ignore the noise, though, and stay right where is. The best place for him for the next two years is Goodison Park, working with Martinez.
“Why? For starters, it is the style of play Martinez implements. Stones is a great reader of the game, composed in possession and starts attacks from the back. Martinez will encourage him to develop those skills.
“There will be mistakes along the way, playing in that fashion, but Martinez would be more tolerant of them.
“I wouldn’t expect that to be the case with Jose Mourinho, who doesn’t accept mistakes or learning on the job from those in his team.
“Will Stones play every week at Chelsea? No. He would have more of a chance at City or United but even then there would be no guarantee. The problem with playing as a centre back is that defenders don’t tend to get rotated — rightly so — and that could mean long periods out of the team.”
Our landlord here in the Transfer Tavern feels that Stones SHOULD move to Stamford Bridge this summer, and he feels that the young defender can flourish at the club, under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho.