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John Stones: The Rise of England‘s Ball-Playing Star

Full Name John Stones
Age 29
Birthday May 28, 1994
Born Barnsley, England
Height 6‘2"
Current Team Manchester City
Number 5
Position Center Back
Social Media Twitter, Instagram

John Stones is an English footballer who plays center back for Premier League club Manchester City. I‘ve followed his career closely since his early days at Barnsley as a 17-year-old prospect. In this post, I‘ll provide a comprehensive overview of his journey to stardom.

Road to Stardom at Everton

Stones began his career with his hometown club Barnsley, making his first team debut in 2012 at just 18 years old. After one impressive season, he secured a £3 million move to Everton in 2013.

At Everton, Stones immediately became a regular starter under Roberto Martinez. He formed a strong center back partnership with Phil Jagielka and excelled with his technical ability on the ball. By 2015, he had established himself as one of the brightest young talents in Europe.

Some key achievements from his time at Everton:

  • Youngest player to start a game for Everton in Europe (age 19)
  • Named Everton Young Player of the Year in 2015
  • Earned a call-up to the England national team in 2014 at age 20
  • Selected to PFA Team of the Year in 2015 alongside the likes of Hazard and Sanchez

Big Money Move to Manchester City

After rejectng a £38 million bid from Chelsea in 2015, Stones finally got his big money move by signing for Manchester City for £47.5 million in 2016 – a record fee for a British defender.

At Manchester City, Stones found his ideal manager in Pep Guardiola who nurtured his style as a ball-playing center back. Though injuries disrupted his first two seasons, Stones became a staple in City‘s backline by their record-breaking 2017/18 Premier League winning season.

Some key stats and figures from his Man City career:

  • 16 major trophies won including 4 Premier League titles
  • Played over 150 matches for Manchester City
  • Formed iconic center back pairing with Aymeric Laporte
  • 87% pass accuracy highlights playmaking abilities

Key Achievements and Playing Style

Stones‘ honors include a Premier League, FA Cup, and multiple League Cups. He also helped lead England to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.

As a defender, Stones combines expert positioning and tackling with pinpoint passing range. He has the technical quality to progress the ball and beat the press with his dribbling. Pep Guardiola once said Stones "has absolutely everything" to be one of the best center backs ever.

At 29, Stones is just entering his prime years. With his unique ball-playing style, he promises to continue thriving as the cornerstone of Manchester City‘s defense. It‘s been a privilege to watch him evolve from a teenager at Barnsley into one of the world‘s elite defenders.