Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Manchester City Defender On Chelsea’s Radar: Should Guardiola Cash In On Him This Summer?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by The Daily Mirror, Manchester City defender John Stones is on Chelsea’s radar this summer. The same source has also mentioned that the Blues boss Frank Lampard is eyeing a bargain £20m summer move to lure the English centre-back away from the Etihad Stadium.

Stones’ Lacklustre Season In English Football

Stones has endured a frustrating season at Manchester after struggling to secure regular playing time at the heart of Pep Guardiola’s defence over the past 12 months. The Barnsley-born talent has made 24 appearances for the League Cup champions this term, picking up one yellow card and receiving 1554 minutes of game time across all fronts, which sheds light on his growing struggles at the north-west of England.

The 26-year-old has failed to discover a run of consistency in terms of his performances on the field as he averaged 1.0 tackles, 0.6 interceptions and 1.9 clearances per game in the Premier League this season. However, he deserves credit for being tidy with his ball-distribution after completing 94.2% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

Stones has earned 39 senior caps for the England national team, scoring two goals for his country in the process. Maybe a change of scenery this summer could help him find some form next season so that he can secure a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad for next year’s UEFA European Championship finals.

Manchester City defender John Stones in on Chelsea's radar (Stones is seen in the photo)
John Stones of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park on April 14, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

What Does The English Defensive Ace Offer On The Pitch?

When playing with confidence, Stones can be a reliable presence at the back as he can sense the danger quickly that allows him to pull off a few crucial clearances for his team. He can also use his strength to win some aerial duels inside his half. The England international is also an excellent passer of the ball but has often lacked consistency with his performances during this campaign. Therefore, he should consider sealing a move to Stamford Bridge before the start of the new campaign as it will help him make a fresh start and compete at the top level week in week out.

Should Man City Cash In On Stones This Summer?

A centre-back of Stones’ quality should be a regular feature in the Premier League. However, Guardiola cannot afford to provide that luxury to him at the Etihad in the upcoming campaign. Hence, it makes sense for Man City to cash in on him in this off-season so that they can use the money generated from his potential sale to recruit a suitable replacement, who would be capable of challenging Aymeric Laporte, Eric Garcia, Fernandinho and Nathan Ake for a starting spot in the coming seasons.

At 26, Stones is currently at his prime, so he needs to ensure more game time if he intends to prove his worth at the highest level. Thus, it will be a mutually beneficial deal for both the player and the club to part ways with each other during this summer transfer window.

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