Everton welcomed Manchester City to Goodison Park on Wednesday evening and with it their former defensive enforcer John Stones.
Plenty of Premier League clubs have been forced to offload their top players to Man City in the past decade and Everton suffered that fate in 2016.
Stones, widely regarded as England’s most promising defender at the time, swapped Merseyside for Manchester as Pep Guardiola began a defensive reshuffle.
His transfer was understandably placed under some scrutiny throughout the British media, but it was difficult for the Toffees faithful to be disappointed over the decision.
While Raheem Sterling has cut something of a satanic figure on the red half of Merseyside, Stones remains a relatively popular one amongst the blue half, and he enhanced his popularity by waving towards the Gwladys Street end at Goodison Park as he left the field of play on Wednesday.
John Stones applauding and giving the thumbs up to the Gwladys Street after the final whistle pic.twitter.com/JBepxYh8q7
— The Toffee Blues (@EvertonNewsFeed) February 7, 2019
In response to the video, most Everton fans took a pragmatic view on Stones’ decision to leave the club and recognised that he was handed an offer he simply couldn’t refuse.
If the Twitter reaction is anything to go by, it seems that the supporters are willing the 24-year-old defender to succeed at City and always knew he was destined for a huge future in the game.
Here’s what a handful of Everton fans have had to say about Stones after watching the short clip…
Can’t be angry at him for leaving us, One of England’s best defenders
— Nick Ryan (@NickRyanPGAlol) February 7, 2019
Was always respectful towards us. Great lad
— ToffeeNor (@ToffeeNOR) February 7, 2019
Always like @JohnStones26. Never blamed him for leaving us, as he has proven to be one of England’s best defenders. Top lad
— Everton n Bitter (@BitterEverton) February 7, 2019
I said when he was at Everton, he’s a future England captain, quality player and no booing from evertonions
— Tommy Dav (@mamuciumfc) February 7, 2019
Please come home
— Stephen Barrow (@stephenbarrow) February 7, 2019
— Aliceista (@toyotadeals4all) February 7, 2019
Miss him so much x
— luke o’grady (@lukeogrady9) February 7, 2019
Gutted when he left. Love him as a footballer
— ??owenparkesefc (@owenparkes123) February 7, 2019
Brilliant defender who oozes class, top player
— John Wilson (@willolfc78) February 7, 2019