New Man City defender John Stones can develop into a world-class defender under the guidance of Pep Guardiola in a similar fashion to Barcelona star Gerard Pique, according to Gary Neville.
“I’m delighted he’s gone to Manchester City, to Guardiola,” he said on MNF. “It’s the best club for him at the moment with the manager they have.
“It reminds me of six, seven, eight years ago, a player exposed to Guardiola. It was a young Gerard Pique. You see a lot of Stones in Pique – a person who’s not filled his shirt yet.”
“In the past six months there has been so much criticism of John Stones – about what he shouldn’t do, about how he shouldn’t play – rather than celebrating what he is, that he’s willing to take big chances at the back on the ball.
“That he’s willing to pass out from the back, get on the ball as deep as possible, bring other players in, play passes into midfield. There’s been a lot of discouragement in the past six months.
“Pique has become a monster. He’s stronger, he’s taller, he’s more experienced. He’s been encouraged to play and to be himself.
“That’s the work that’s been done with him and he’s obviously played in a fantastic team at Barcelona. Pep Guardiola will try to create that same type of team and player at Manchester City.”