Roy Keane hails in-form John Stones for ‘maturing and bouncing back’ after ‘taking his eye off the ball’ during rotten spell for Manchester City and says the defender can be ‘a big asset’ for England at the Euros
- Roy Keane has heaped praise on John Stones after his recent displays for City
- Stones reclaimed his spot under Pep Guardiola and finally won an England recall
- Keane believes Stones has ‘matured’ and has a big part to play at the Euros
Roy Keane has hailed John Stones for ‘bouncing back and maturing’ after a torrid run of bad displays, with the pundit backing the defender to play a huge part for England at the upcoming Euros.
Stones won his first England call up for more than a year this week after turning his fortunes around at Manchester City – winning his place back in the line-up and helping the team in their bid for the Premier League title.
His form has come at just the right time with a major tournament on the horizon this summer, as the player was picked to start England’s first World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Thursday.
John Stones has been praised by Roy Keane (right) for bouncing back and maturing following a bad run of form
Former Manchester United midfielder Keane hailed the centre-back for his consistency, saying did well to recover after ‘taking his eye off the ball’.
‘Stones has matured,’ he told ITV ahead of England’s game at Wembley. ‘He’s cut out mistakes scored a couple of goals.
‘Gareth wants him to play out from the back. He lost his confidence but he’s bounced back and matured. I guess he took his eye off the ball and lost focus.’
Southgate has a big decision to make regarding his selections in defence this summer, with a number of options at centre half, but Keane believes Stones would be his best player and even ahead of Man United’s Harry Maguire.
Keane believes Stones finally has his confidence back after his starring displays for City
The pundit packed Stones to play a big part for Gareth Southgate at the Euros this summer
With England known to play in a 3-4-3 formation under Southgate, Keane feels Stones is best equipped to play in that system for the Three Lions.
‘He could be a big asset for England,’ Keane added. ‘His form would suggest [he’s ahead of Maguire] the form he’s in. If Gareth plays a back three, Stones would be one of the main guys for that as he’s comfortable in possession.
Speaking after his first call up since November 2019, Stones admitted he was ‘absolutely made up’ to win his place back after a nervy wait to find out if he had made Southgate’s squad.
Stones (right) admitted he was ‘absolutely made up’ to win his place back in the England side
‘I was very nervous,’ said Stones. ‘I had worked so hard and I was hearing people say, “You should be in”. But I didn’t take any of that in until the text (from the FA) arrived.
‘I was absolutely made up. It was a special moment — a really special moment.
‘It has been a long time since I put an England shirt on and hopefully this week I can do that again. I’d like to play all three games.’