Saturday 20 January 2018

5 things you may not have known about Manchester City new boy John Stones

John Stones has made big strides since joining Everton in 2013
John Stones has made big strides since joining Everton in 2013

John Stones has completed his move to Manchester City from Everton on a six-year contract.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at five things you may not have known about the England defender.

1. Late developer

Stones lacked physical strength as a 15-year-old and was played down a year in Barnsley academy's under-14s. His progress at under-18 level was also delayed until he filled out his 6ft 2in frame, but from then on there was no holding him back and in the second year of his scholarship at Oakwell the club's head of academy coaching Mark Burton told him he would become an England international. He signed professional forms in December 2011, made his senior debut three months later aged 17 and, only nine months later, moved to Everton where he made his debut in August 2013. His England bow followed nine months later, two days after his 20th birthday.

2. Solid Stones

Despite his rapid rise, the usually reliable Stones keeps a relatively low profile compared to some of his contemporaries. The softly-spoken defender is one of the quieter members of the squad at Everton - so his decision to hand in a transfer request in August 2015 after interest from Chelsea came as a surprise to many.

3. Not on trend

Unlike most professional footballers, Stones barely has a presence on social media. He has no Twitter account and his Instagram page - which has 48,500 followers - has just six posts: four are from this summer's England duty, of which two are him in his official suit getting on and off a plane, one is a video from boot sponsors Nike and his final one, from July 8, is of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai where he took his post-Euro 2016 holiday.

4. Inflation-buster

In these times of austerity and worries over the financial implications of Brexit, Stones is blazing a trail for hyper-inflation. A rough calculation suggests, having signed for £3million in January 2013, standard UK inflation would have raised his price to £3.2million. And while his development at Everton has been good, his reported sale price of around £50million equates to a 1,566 per cent increase. Not bad business for the Toffees.

5. Dressing-room clown

Stones was dedicated to making progress on the pitch during his teenage years, but was not averse to taking on the role of dressing-room clown at Oakwell. He has a dry sense of humour and developed an uncanny ability to imitate and mimic team-mates and members of staff.

Press Association

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