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John Stones would have suited Arsenal and Chelsea – but he’s transformed Man City career

John Stones has transformed Manchester City ’s season and is playing himself back into the England team.

His career looked finished at City when he was sitting on the bench and I really thought he needed a move.

He would have fit in at loads of other clubs, including Arsenal and Chelsea. But he chose to stay and fair play to him, he has turned things around.

I think he’s done it by keeping things simple. We’re not talking about him doing Cruyff turns inside his own box any more.

The best defenders defend first. They keep things simple. They don’t over-elaborate or try things that are too risky.

John Terry, Nemanja Vidic, Tony Adams, Paul McGrath. They all kept it simple. Even a ball-playing defender like Rio Ferdinand wouldn’t take liabilities.

(Image: Getty Images)

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Stones has started keeping it simple now too, and he is forming a proper partnership with Ruben Dias at City.

They’ve kept seven clean sheets in eight games and City suddenly look so much better defensively.

They keep it tight in games now and then their class begins to tell. Every time I watch them it’s like they’re playing the first leg of a Champions league tie.

Stones could easily have left in the last transfer window. It didn’t look like Pep Guardiola trusted him, and then they brought Dias in.

But he’s worked hard to force his way back in and is reaping the rewards now. He deserves a lot of praise.

I think it’s massive for England because he’s still capable of coming out and playing, and at the Euros we will need players like that because teams will sit back against us.

You need defenders who are comfortable playing the ball through the lines against teams who just sit there and say: “Okay break us down.”

(Image: Getty Images)

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