Transfer rumor silly season is about to begin. Last summer it was the potential swap deal between City and Arsenal. In that scenario, Raheem Sterling was going to the mis-firing Gunners in exchange for Alexis Sanchez. Of course that was soon rubbished by Pep Guardiola, who wanted Sanchez, but not lose Raheem.
The young English winger frustrated in Peps first season, but fast forward to today and he’s coming off his best season in the Premier League. That despite the host of missed opportunities throughout.
Now it seems another young Englishman is going to be sacrificed by Pep Guardiola. And, as with the Raheem story, it seems as if it’s all false. Turning 24 next month, John Stones hasn’t featured in the City side for most of 2018.
Injury, of course, has been the reason for most of his time away from the side. However, he has also found himself on the bench also. More competition in that position has seen the return of Vincent Kompany along with Nicolas Otamendi having a very good season.
January saw the signing of Aymeric Laporte who is now beginning to find his feet in the Premier League. In the last two games, alongside Kompany, the Frenchman has looked good. But that shouldn’t mean the end of Stones.
Baring in mind Pep Guardiola initially began the season with three at the back, and two wing backs, Stones is not surplus to requirements. Heading to the World Cup with England, he will be hoping for a good showing, and to get through it with his confidence boosted and fitness intact.
Talk of heading back to Everton, or even Arsenal, has been rubbished by some outlets. In fact I would even suggest City are more likely to add another central defender to their ranks rather than selling one.
Guardiola is supportive of his players, and Stones is the kind of defender Guardiola likes. Yes he will make mistakes, but that is natural. He will be wearing City blue come next season after picking up his first Premier League and Carabao Cup winners medal. The first of many for a guy who statistically will not reach his peak for another four seasons.