Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has revealed he was eager to sign John Stones during his time in charge at Old Trafford.
Stones ended up moving from Everton to Manchester City in 2016, and he’d looked set for a big move for some time before that.
The England international looks back to his best at the moment, and Van Gaal has praised his qualities after his revival at the Etihad Stadium.
The Dutch tactician admits he’s long been a fan of Stones’ qualities and his personality, and thinks his form at the moment is a big reason for City’s superb performances and rise to the top of the table.
“What is helping Pep is that John Stones is back to his very best,” Van Gaal is quoted by the Daily Star.
“I remember seeing Stones as a young defender and I thought he was fantastic and blessed with a great personality.
“This was the reason I wanted to sign him when I was manager of Man United. I did not succeed.
“I would have loved it if he had come to United, but he chose to go to City.
“It is great that Stones is full of confidence again after losing it for a while.
“Pep has given him confidence again and it is wonderful to see how well Stones is playing again.”
United fans will surely agree that they could have done with signing Stones in recent years, with centre-back long being a problem position for the club.
Instead, the Red Devils have brought in the likes of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly since then, with Stones arguably better than any of those names.
“If I could go back in time I would change 90% of my life” – which former Man Utd star said this? Click here to find out.