Is John Stones the perfect replacement for Toby Alderweireld at Tottenham?
With the summer approaching the talk of certain players moving is never far away, is it? One player who has been subject to speculation is England international John Stones. The former Everton defender has enjoyed a relatively successful campaign, winning a Carabao Cup winners medal and a Premier League winners medal. However, the major issue for the 23-year-old is he pretty low down the pecking order at the club. Knowing that Manchester City will continue to try and bring players in to further improve, Stones has been linked with an exit.
Reports have stated that manager Pep Guardiola is happy with his central defender, but as well as having injury problems, Stones has been dropped on a couple of occasions this season, notably following the 4-3 defeat to rivals Liverpool.
Manchester City paid Everton £47.5 million to acquire the services of Stones, so should they move him this summer they would be looking to recoup the majority of the money, so there might not be many clubs who could even afford to bring Stones into the club. One club who could though and who would be the perfect fit for his style and progression would be Tottenham Hotspur.
The North London club have much to look forward to next season, with the new stadium, Champions League football and the prospect of adding even more quality to the squad which they already have. The future of their star defender Toby Alderweireld has been subject to debate this season and it looks inevitable that the Belgian will make that move away from Tottenham this summer.
Defensively the team has not looked as strong as the previous season, with Davison Sanchez partnering perhaps the best defender in the Premier League this season; Jan Vertonghen.
With Pochettino's managerial style and tactical style, John Stones would be the perfect defender to fill the void left by the impending departure of Alderweireld. The ability to play the ball out from the back, calmness on the ball, covering out wide when the fullback is caught forward; Stones has all the aspects to his game and with Pochettino's managerial style and his record he can get the best out of his players and improve them, especially with the England internationals he has developed since joining Tottenham.
The former Barnsley and Everton defender has come a long way in such a short space of time from his move to Goodison Park back in 2013. Still only 23 years of age and with room to improve the England international needs to be playing regularly to continue with his development. Guardiola has certainly helped improve the player, but there will be questions as to how much the Spanish manager trusts Stones.
A partnership of Stones and Vertonghen would add extra balance to the Tottenham first team or if Pochettino uses the three at the back formation, Stones fits into that system just as comfortably like he has for England under the management of Gareth Southgate.
Despite the stance Guardiola has taken on the future of Stones, there would certainly have to be question marks from the player on his future at the Etihad and whether a move elsewhere would be more beneficial.