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Media Watch: Stones causes a stir

SUPER STONES: John Stones' performance for England caused a stir on social media...

SUPER STONES: John Stones' performance for England caused a stir on social media...

A shout-out to John Stones, talk of an early title decider and a tale of transfer gossip… Busy like Sunday morning!

Let’s kick off with a look back on last night’s action, as England fell to defeat at the hands of Spain in the UEFA Nations League.

Unusually, there was little City representation in the starting XIs at Wembley. Kyle Walker and Fabian Delph were unused substitutes, while Raheem Sterling had already withdrawn from the squad with a back injury and of course, David Silva had also recently announced his retirement from international football.

READ: City's international manager academy | Part two

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City’s sole representative was Stones and his impressive cameo performance in the defensive midfield role caused a stir on social media, as This Is Futbol noticed.

William Guv reflected: “The Manchester City enforcer looked to be at the top of his game all night, and put in some vital contributions at the back for the Three Lions.

“He was unlucky to be booked for a perfectly good sliding challenge on Rodrigo, and even sprayed a few passes around from midfield as he stepped out of defence.

“It is a shame for Stones that there is so much quality in the Manchester City squad, because he would easily be an ever-present for just about any other Premier League club.

“He has been given a few chances by Pep Guardiola this season, but players like Vincent Kompany and Aymeric Laporte seem to be favoured at the moment.

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“Hopefully his performance for England puts him back in contention for City after the break.”

Switching focus to the present and the media are licking their lips ahead of City’s Super League opener against Chelsea this afternoon.

Already billed as a potential title decider, the clash sees the league’s top two go head-to-head at Kingsmeadow (2pm) in what promises to be another entertaining affair.

Plenty are having their say – the press, fans, managers and players – and Prestwich-born Blue Abbie McManus has shared her thoughts, telling the WSL’s official website she hopes our gruelling preparations on the pre-season tour of the United States will hold City in good stead ahead of the game.

“We’ve been on a pre-season tour to Miami and Portland and we had some very competitive games against Lyon and PSG,” she stated.

“When we look back at last year, we are disappointed we didn’t win a trophy but we qualified for the Champions League again, which we are happy with.

“But we do want silverware at home and that is our main aim this year.”

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Finally, in other news, it’s claimed City are keeping tabs on Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

According to the Manchester Evening News’ Liam Corless: “Liverpool will not stand in Manchester City's way if Pep Guardiola decides to pursue Adrien Rabiot.

“City are in the market for a midfielder following their failure to recruit Jorginho in the summer and with Fernandinho turning 34 this season.

“Barcelona are known admirers of Rabiot but Liverpool will not enter the bidding for the France international, the Liverpool Echo say.

“Rabiot, who spent a brief time at City's academy in 2008, stalled on a new contract at the Parc des Princes earlier this summer. His current deal expires at the end of this season.

“PSG boss Thomas Tuchel was not convinced the midfielder would remain at the Parc des Princes when asked about his future last month.

“A recent report by French outlet RMC said Guardiola was due to personally meet with Rabiot's representatives in Manchester last week, although the same report also said Barcelona are the front-runners to sign him.”

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Our Saturday media round-up is trained on England’s opening UEFA Nations League clash against Spain tonight and tomorrow’s start of the new Women’s Super League campaign.

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