Pep Guardiola is proud of the improvement John Stones has shown at Manchester City and is hoping he is keen on keeping it up.
The 23-year-old England international has matured into one of the key players for City, as they have opened an eight points lead at the top.
Stones joined City for a reported fee of £47.5 million last season and Guardiola insists he needed time.
“We cannot forget that last season was the first time he was able to play three games a week. Everton, they play once a week. Here, you have the Champions League. You need a process to settle,” he told a news conference.
“He became a father and that helped his life to be well-organised. He has this amazing quality to understand the game, to be calm, to read the next pass.
“Defensively all the team helped a lot but he joined a good partnership with Nico [Otamendi]. Every game last season he made one or two mistakes and this season that is more irregular.
“He’s still young and it depends on him if he wants to become better. Hopefully he still has the desire to improve because there are many things to improve with and without the ball.”
“He is more mature. Every player when he’s 20 or 21 is completely different to when he is 27 or 28,” he said.
“To have experience in the Champions League you need to live that. Last season in Camp Nou [against Barcelona], this in San Paolo [against Napoli].
“Then against the best in Neymar and Gabriel [Jesus] against Brazil. You need to live that to become a better player.
“You have a lot of skills and talent when you buy them but they have to live the situation to realise, ‘OK, I can handle it’. For that, you need time. In football, you don’t get time but you need it.”