Everton have had a plethora of young players to come through the ranks and star in the senior team at Goodison Park.
Cast your minds back nearly 20 years ago and you’ll picture a baby-faced Wayne Rooney scoring a venomous strike for the Toffees.
The likes of Ross Barkley have burst onto the scene since but one of their proudest discoveries should be John Stones.
The central defender didn’t come through the Everton academy like Rooney and Barkley but he did join Goodison at a particularly young age.
In fact, he was signed from Barnsley as an 18-year-old for a fee of just £3m.
It’s not rare for a Premier League club to spend a vast amount on a teenager but that deal quickly became a bargain.
Like all budding teenager’s, Stones made his debut in the EFL Cup and it wasn’t until January that he earned his first Premier League start.
That happened to be a 1-1 draw with Stoke and since that moment, he progressed wonderfully.
The centre-back quickly became an eye-catching player, one that was known for his elegant passing and his transitional play.
This was not a classic defender, but one that bore all of the attributes you’d associate with the modern game.
A new contract was signed that should have kept him at the club until 2019. Indeed, it gave Everton protection when Chelsea lodged three bids that were ultimately rejected. Their top offer was in the region of £30m but still Everton stood firm.
However, when the might of Manchester City came calling, it was not only difficult for Stones to say no, but also tricky for Bill Kenwright to reject their massive £50m bid.
He eventually left in 2016 and since his emergence at the Etihad under Pep Guardiola, he has won countless trophies and become a pillar of the England side.
Stones played all seven matches during the recent European Championships as the Three Lions reached the final at Wembley.
Despite that, there have been significant lulls in the defender’s career. He has spent time out injured and Guardiola hasn’t always favoured him. For example, this term, the £100k-per-week earner has failed to make a single appearance.
His difficulties and inconsistency when it’s come to form has led to his transfer value decreasing dramatically by £23m.
The 27-year-old may have become a key cog for Gareth Southgate but it’s evident that Kenwright played a blinder over his sale.
To get £50m for a player who is now worth £27m in the prime of his career has to be commended.