It’s been an unusually subdued summer at Stamford Bridge this year, with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, surprisingly, keeping quiet in the transfer market. Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and loan signing Radamel Falcao are the only new faces at the club.
However in the last couple of days, it has emerged that Mourinho has his eyes on one new addition to his Premier League-winning side, Everton centre back John Stones.
Chelsea have already had a bid of around £20 million rejected for the England international with Everton boss Roberto Martinez determined to hang on to his prized asset. However, that has shown no signs of putting Jose off, with the London club reportedly having made a new bid of around £26 million.
Stones has made 57 appearances for Everton to his name since he broke into the first-team during the 2013/14 season following an injury to Phil Jagielka, since then he has firmly established himself as Jagielka’s central defensive partner at the expense of Sylvain Distin.
The former Barnsley player is an impressive talent defensively, but more impressively he boasts incredible composure on and off the ball and the mental awareness to read the attackers’ movement and adapt his position to intercept the ball.
At just 21 years of age the defender has a massive future ahead of him for both club and country. There is no doubt he will be playing for an elite club within the next couple of seasons.
However for the time being, Stones needs to turn down the advances of Chelsea and stay at Everton for the sake of his own development.
The 21 year old has only been in the first team at Everton for one season and needs to continue to start games on a regular basis to gain vital Premier League experience and further his own progress.
At Chelsea John Terry and Gary Cahill are the established central defensive pairing and will be for at least another season or two until John Terry decides to call it a day.
If the youngster is to move this summer he would find himself limited to mainly substitute appearances and games in minor cup competitions, not to mention having to compete with the incredibly talented Kurt Zouma just to be the backup to those pair.
This could hinder Stones’ potential and stop him reaching the heights that he could.
Of course a move to the Premier League champions is hard for any footballer to turn down, but the player should bide his time and stay where he is, showing patience will allow him to basically have his choice of any of the Premier League’s top teams when he sees fit to move on.
Any of the current top four sides would be daft not to be interested in pursuing the centre back – especially with several of the existing defensive stars at those clubs reaching the final years of their career.
At Chelsea the player will no doubt be a major candidate to replace John Terry when he does retire. Currently Stones plays alongside Gary Cahill for England and moving to the Blues in a couple of seasons would allow that impressive partnership to continue to shine.
Manchester United certainly need to improve their defence. Stones would easily become the best defender at the club ahead of the likes of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. He would improve the back line dramatically and become a vital part of any United team in the future.
As for their local rivals Manchester City the defender offers a perfect replacement for Vincent Kompany. The Belgian defender is 29 years old now and although he still has several years left in him, there is a doubt about whether his levels of ability will stay as high as they currently are. Kompany could help to mould Stones into the perfect replacement.
Last but certainly not least there is Arsenal, this would arguably be the best destination for the England international. Per Mertesacker is 30 years of age currently but is really beginning to struggle with the pace of the Premier League.
Stones would be a great replacement for the German and would also suit the style of football at the Emirates. Stones is comfortable on the ball and would form a brilliant partnership with Laurent Koscielny.
There is no doubting Stones has the world at his feet but needs to remain patient and continue his development at Everton for at least one more season.