John Stones must be one of the happiest persons alive now to be finally back among the best football players out there. The centre-back has practically played himself back into both club and national team set-ups thereby becoming a valuable asset to both managers once again.
With Manchester City top of the pile in the Premier League and gunning for an unprecedented quadruple at the end of the campaign, Stones is winning back old friends while also making new ones as a result of his performances.
The latest among them is England boss Gareth Southgate who has invited the 26-year-old back to the national team for the forth-coming international break. Stones is making a return to the England squad after more than a year’s absence.
It is a welcome development for The 26-year-old who last played for his country in November 2019 but is now making a comeback after playing a key role in City’s push for success this term.
The Three Lions manager has showered praise on the defender for his new-found form. Stones is expected to play a significant role in the team moving forward. Southgate made his feelings about the player and the call-up known in a recent interview.
“It’s a huge plus for us, John has played a lot of internationals for us. For a period we weren’t sure if he would recapture that form, when you invest that much time and as many caps in players like that and he disappears, it is a huge disappointment,” Southgate said.
“John deserves huge credit for turning that around and finding a level of consistency. He’s played a big part in what looks like a hugely successful season for City, although they will say they’ve won nothing yet. He fits the profile of how we want to play, comfortable on the ball, speed in bringing it out, it’s great to have him back.
“I think often we talk about coaches & managers & the impact on players. But in the end you have to give players a lot of credit when they bounce back from disappointment, come back from difficult injuries, when they regain form”
Stones will hope to add to his 39 caps for England in the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland coming up later this month. The Barnsley-born defender played a vital role in England’s campaign at the last tournament in Russia.
He was in the team with Kyle Walker and Raheem Sterling who have also been invited. They are now joined by Phil Foden who is fast becoming a top player for both club and country.
However, it is important they all return injury-free to round-off the season in grand style by completing the great work they are doing at the Etihad Stadium.