- 19 March
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Why Manchester City are offering John Stones a new deal
John Stones’ remarkable turnaround at Manchester City appears to be complete after it was reported that the club are set to offer him a new deal at the end of the season.
The 26-year-old joined the Blues from Everton in £50m deal in 2016 and won two Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the League Cup across his first three campaigns.
But a number of high-profile blunders during a forgettable title defence last term appeared to have cost him the faith of manager Pep Guardiola, who moved to sign Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias over the summer.
With Stones’ contract set to expire in 2022, it appeared he would be allowed to leave if an acceptable offer were received – with Everton among the clubs linked.
However, the Englishman has in fact emerged as the preferred partner for Dias this term, and has already managed more Premier League starts (13) this season than in the entirety of the last (12).
The Barnsley-born centre-back’s natural game appears to perfectly complement his new teammate, who himself has been a revelation since arriving from Benfica.
Having attempted 7.4 duels P90 last season, Stones is down to just 4.2 this time around, preferring to hoover up loose balls not won by his more combative partner.
An increase in intercepts P90 (up from 0.6 to 0.8) also suggests he is being allowed to concentrate on anticipating errors rather than the sort of aggressive, physical defending that comes more naturally to Dias.
And, according to reports, this transformation has prompted City to line up a contract extension at the end of a campaign that could yet bring four trophies.