Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright has dubbed Chelsea target John Stones as the best centre back in England.
The 21-year old has been at the centre of a large amount of interest from Chelsea, with rumours circulating suggesting that the Blues would offer £31.9 million for Stones’ services – a record fee for a British defender.
In an interview with the Newcastle Chronicle, Kenwright has made it clear just how highly he rates the defender:
“We’ve worked really hard to stabilise this club and we’ve got a great squad, a young squad…[Romelu] Lukaku and John Stones, who has to be the best centre back in England.”
Stones has become an integral part of the Everton defence in recent season, despite only arriving from Barnsley in 2013.
Jose Mourinho is reportedly keen on signing Stones as a long-term replacement to John Terry, and has responded to criticism from Toffees’ boss Roberto Martinez for his conduct in pursuing Stones. He is quoted by Sky Sports as saying:
“That is the market now. You only pay it if you want to. If you don’t want to pay it, don’t pay. It’s as simple as that. The market has no rules or limits from season to season.
“It’s a good market. That’s why smaller clubs, if they have interesting young English players, they use that in the right way for them.”