“A classy, intelligent defender... ”
A product of Barnsley’s academy, John Stones built a reputation of an assured ball-playing centre-half with Everton before signing for City in August 2016.
Already an England international, the defender penned a six-year deal to become the eighth arrival of the summer 2016 transfer window and since then, has won every domestic honour available.
Stones rose through the ranks of his home town club, making his Barnsley debut against Reading in March 2011, the first of 28 appearances for the Tykes.
Having displayed a maturity beyond his years, he was promptly snapped up by Everton on the final day of the January 2013 transfer window.
He was made to wait until the following season for his debut, but his role in the team grew with time and he went on to make 95 senior appearances in three seasons, netting his first goal in 3-0 win over Manchester United in April 2015.
His reputation was growing and City swooped, with Pep Guardiola an admirer of Stones’ ability to both neutralise the opposition and launch attacks of his own with his range of passing.
A solid first season saw the 25-year-old make 41 appearances and he started his second campaign in superb form, netting twice against Feyenoord in the Champions League, before injury against Leicester disrupted his progress.
Nevertheless, he turned out 29 times to help City lift the 2017/18 Premier League and Carabao Cup – his first taste of success at senior level – and won a place in England’s 2018 World Cup squad.
Injury again affected Stones’ 2018/19 season, though he remained an important figure within the team, featuring in 39 games.
He missed the Carabao Cup final, but played in the Community Shield and FA Cup wins and made a vital goal line clearance to help City beat Liverpool in January 2018’s title showdown at the Etihad Stadium.
Now considered first choice by Gareth Southgate, Stones made his international debut under Roy Hodgson, in the 3-0 friendly win over Peru in May 2014.
He was included in the Euro 2016 squad, but didn’t see any playing time, meaning his major tournament debut came at last summer’s World Cup.
It was a different story in Russia, with Stones starting every match and scoring twice in the 6-1 win over Panama.