Written by Henry Clark
£47 million. A human being, a single human being is worth £47 million. My mouth drawls over this as a Hull fan, whose club is yet to make a signing this summer and has 11 fit players. For those that care, that could roughly buy you 9.4 Tom Huddlestone’s.
The transfer itself is hardly surprising considering Stones handed in a transfer request last summer in an attempt to force through a move to Chelsea, a move that never materialised. The classy defender’s stock has soared in recent years after a series of impressive displays.
Dubbed as the first ‘footballing centre-back’ Stones offers the elegance on the ball of a classy Brazilian midfielder as well as the tough tackling, no-nonsense English style you need in the Premier League. Linked with a move to footballing giants Barcelona, it’s an understatement to say he’s a one to watch in the future; you could say that he is the future of English football.
It hasn’t been easy for Stones though; he copped some flak last year from his own set of supporters after a series of less than impressive displays where his confidence on the ball was transferred to the grateful strikers of the opposition as he watched them wheel away to celebrate by the corner flag. His positioning has also been questioned with some criticising Roy Hodgson’s decision to put him in a squad that lost to Iceland in Euro 2016.
It’s important to factor in that Everton conceded 55 goals last season with only 5 sides, three of which were eventually relegated, conceding more which is a pretty poor effort for a side pushing for top six. This culminated in the end of Roberto Martinez after apparent dressing room unrest, notably a media tiff with Leighton Baines, with the Spaniard departing just before the last game of the 15/16 campaign. Martinez can’t be at fault for the attacking style he deployed at Everton; they were one of the best sides to watch going forward.
However, his inability to organise a solid defence at the over end of the pitch meant Everton conceded a lot of goals. And for every person that criticises the manager for this, there is another two that blame the defender’s, and in some cases rightly so. But I believe some criticism of Stones, a man who is already revolutionising his position at his age, is unfair. At the end of the day he can only do what his superiors direct him to do.
Some of the greats that start new era’s of football were never well-liked and appreciated at first. Take Johan Cruyff, who brought football into the modern era. He was never globally recognised for the outstanding footballer he was until he joined Barcelona. Another is example is Leicester, who began a new era of Premier League football. All their new found lovers weren’t so appreciative of the years they spent in the Championship but just look at Jamie Vardy now, driving his new BMW i8.
There’s no doubt in my mind that this big money move won’t be worth it. Stones will only get better under the guidance of the mastermind that is Pep Guardiola, one of the best defenders of his generation. His sides are notoriously built on a solid defensive foundation at whatever side he graces. He will gain invaluable experience at his age at the top of European football (barring City have a nightmare in the qualifying rounds), and also the experience of training against top quality players like Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne, something he could only have dreamt of when he turned up to training on a dark, cold January morning having to act as a dummy defender while Aroune Kone fired over the bar.
Stones is a revolutionary footballer who, under the stewardship of Guardiola, has the ability to become something truly special. Worth £47 million? – Yes, if David Luiz was worth £50 million. The answer to our national team’s search to a top-class centre-back? – Most certainly.
Future Ballon D’Or winner – stay tuned…
Do you think John Stones was worth the fee Manchester City have paid? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Guts Gaming