Four Months Later…John Stones Should Still Be Chelsea FC’s Number One Target


It has been four months since the summer transfer window closed, but as a new opportunity to buy players arises Chelsea FC should still prioritise John Stones.

John Stones was a very public transfer target for Chelsea throughout the summer. The Blues put in multiple bids of increasing value for the Everton defender and were rebuffed on each occasion. Jose Mourinho even confirmed his pursuit of the youngster in interviews, removing the need for the use of ‘reportedly’ in any future references.

Chelsea’s offers for Stones threatened to break the £40 million mark but Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright ensured that the player would not move anywhere during the off-season. Roberto Martinez also reacted angrily to what he perceived as attempts on behalf of the Blues to influence Stones into forcing a move.

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With the January transfer window now open, the centre-back is once again subject to much speculation regarding his future at Goodison Park. Chelsea, meanwhile, are once again one of the supposedly interested parties and Stones should continue to be at the top of the club’s shopping list.

The 21-year-old has done nothing but increase his stock throughout the first half of the season. He has been a rock at the back for Everton and has further demonstrated the different aspects to his game that make him unique. This was never more apparent than in their clash with Chelsea.

During what was a 3-1 demolition of the Blues back in September, Stones took the opportunity to show why he was worth more than £40 million. Far from simply putting in a decent challenge, the Englishman carried the ball out of defence with confidence and positive arrogance. Extremely comfortable in possession, even in the depths of his own half, there was no kicking it out because Stones was never in doubt.

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Instead of securing Stones’ signature, Michael Emenalo and the board brought in relative unknown Papy Djilobodji. The fact that he has made only one appearance, off the bench in the League Cup, reflects how useful he has been to the Blues so far.

Chelsea had a defence made up of panicked and unsure individuals throughout the 2015 part of the season. With Djilobodji being the fourth, there were only three central defenders (John Terry, Kurt Zouma, Gary Cahill) realistically at Mourinho’s disposal. Thus the boss was forced to field two of these underperforming players each week.

To be fair, Terry and Zouma have turned things around in recent times, forging a solid partnership at the heart of the defence. However, with Terry approaching the denouement of his career and Cahill the wrong side of 30 as well, there are certainly spots to be filled.

Everton are thought to be valuing Stones at around £50 million, but given the inflated prices that dominate the current transfer market, this fee is justifiable. At their young ages, Zouma and Stones could form a world-beating combination that could last a decade.

Furthermore, the Englishman is still developing and growing as a footballer. Given his evident talent at the moment, the prospect of him as a finished article is mouth-watering.

Having said that, £50 million is an incredibly hefty fee and in the world of Financial Fair Play, this may leave the Blues lacking funds in other areas of the field. Some may state that Chelsea should graduate a few of their academy players instead. While this is a superficially sensible suggestion, the fact of the matter is that no young defender currently on the club’s books has the potential to match that of Stones.

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From an administrative point of view, the youngster’s home-grown status should also be accounted for in his value. However, that status should also be seen as a warning sign as there have been many English talents hyped throughout the years. Stones, though, is probably the sole player worthy of the fanfare.

Chelsea must do everything reasonably within their power to bring Stones to Stamford Bridge. Whether it be in January or in the summer, the board cannot let this one slip.