Roberto Martinez has raised more than a few eyebrows with his latest comments, claiming that Everton defender John Stones is the best young centre-half in European football, describing him as both stylish and elegant.
The four-time England international missed much of the first-half of the season through injury but has returned to steady the Toffees ship, as their disastrous season threatened to get away from them.
He’s played 22 times thus far in all competitions, taking his overall tally for the Blues close to the 50 mark. Stones joined Everton from Barnsley in 2013, signing a £3m deal after impressing with the Championship side prior to their relegation.
Still only 20 years of age, Stones has been widely tipped as a future star for both club and country, with his ability to play either on the right or in the middle of the back line making him a welcome option for both Martinez and Roy Hodgson.
He’s learned well alongside the experience of Phil Jagielka and is quickly becoming an established Premier League defender.
Speaking about the player Martinez told reporters, who were quoted by the Daily Mirror: “The way John performs on the pitch is so stylish and elegant, which shows you a glance of the potential he has.
“At the age of 20, you are not going to find a better centre-back in European football.”