Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Stones Can Be Truly World Class, Says Former Red Rio

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Stones Can Be Truly World Class, Says Former Red Rio

Article excerpt

JOHN Stones has everything he needs at City to become a worldclass defender, according to Rio Ferdinand.

The former Everton centre-back, whose move to the Etihad in 2016 saw him replace Ferdinand as the most expensive English defender, has had mixed success under Pep Guardiola.

Between August and November 2017, Stones was immense alongside Nicolas Otamendi in a pairing that shut out many an opposition team to enable the Blues to strike up a Premier League lead they would not give up.

But he struggled with form and injuries in the second half of the season and club record signing Aymeric Laporte adds to the competition for places.

For Ferdinand, Stones already has the talent to become one of the leading defenders in the game but needs to find the right balance as he heads into a World Cup that could enhance his status and build his confidence up. …

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