Why Newcastle United should recruit John Stones from Manchester City
According to a report from the Telegraph, Newcastle United will eye a move for Manchester City defender John Stones should Rafael Benitez return as manager next season.
The Magpies are subject of a £300m takeover bid by a Saudi Arabia backed consortium. The deal is likely to be ratified this week. And Benitez is one among a number of managerial candidates linked with a move to the club. And should he return, he is keen on bringing Stones to the St. James’ Park. (h/t Telegraph)
Stones is a product of the Barnsley youth academy. The defender made 28 first-team appearances for the club before joining Everton in January 2013. The 25-year-old went on to feature 95 times for the Toffees before signing for Manchester City in 2018.
Newcastle United’s season so far…
Newcastle United, meanwhile, have had another middling campaign. Safe from the threat of relegation, they are currently in 13th position in the league table, with 35 points from 29 matches so far. However, the squad is lacking in quality across all areas of the pitch. That is something which needs to be addressed if the Magpies are to better their performances next season.
Attack should be a top priority for the club heading into the summer, but adding more quality to the defence would hold them in good stead for the upcoming campaigns.
Newcastle have conceded 41 goals this term in 29 matches at a rate of 1.41 per match. In comparison, they had let in 48 over the course of the entire 2018/19 season (1.26 per game). At this stage last season, they had conceded five goals fewer.
Newcastle have six centre-backs at their disposal currently in captain Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar, Florian Lejeune, Federico Fernandez, Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett. Amongst these three – Schar, Fernandez and Clark, are out of contract at the end of next season.
Furthermore, the likes of Clark and Dummett have battled with injuries this season, while Fernandez has been in and out of the side a lot. Hence, adding another defender to the ranks by offloading one of the current pack would be a wise move by the club. And John Stones, to that end, would be a viable option.
The Englishman has had to battle with injuries over the course of the season, but proved his value for City during their title triumph in 2017/18 and was a key member of England’s run to the World Cup semi-final in 2018. He has already gained plenty of experience in the English top-flight and at 25, he still has his best years ahead of him.
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Newcastle’s defence is need of improvement, with a few of the current centre-backs struggling for form and fitness. Hence, adding a quality operator such as Stones would be the right move by the club. The 25-year-old is a proven commodity in the Premier League and in time, he can grow into the leader of the Magpies defence.