Chelsea centre-back Gary Cahill this week lavished praise on England teammate John Stones, advising the Everton youngster that Stamford Bridge is the best place for him to be.
“[Joining Chelsea is an opportunity] you can’t turn down, you have to grab it with both hands. Then you have to work as hard as you can to make it work.”
The comments come a few days after the Premier League champions had a bid of £20m for the 21-year-old rebuffed by the moneymen at Goodison Park.
It’s widely anticipated the Blues will return with an improved offer, but even if the Toffees’ arm is twisted, there are ample reasons why Stones – 17/20 to be an Everton or Chelsea player come the close of the transfer window – should dismiss Cahill’s two cents, some of which are outlined below:
He’d go from being first choice on Merseyside to fourth in west Londoner.
Cahill and countryman John Terry have the two starting centre-back spots in Jose Mourinho’s side locked down, while Kurt Zouma is first reserve.
Roberto Martinez lacks the wealth of options in this position, meaning Stones would be afforded unbridled access to the starting XI in a team expected to be competing in the top half of the Premier League and with that in mind…
Euro 2016 takes place at the end of the coming campaign.
Stones broke into the England set up last season, but isn’t a staple in the squad yet.
Despite winning four caps to date, the Barnsley native has been tossed between the Three Lions’ senior and under-21 squads since his international career commenced.
Spending a season providing cover to Chelsea’s leading rearguard marshals will almost certainly see him overlooked for the next summer’s tournament.
Mourinho’s record of developing youngsters isn’t anywhere near as impressive as his medal collection.
The Special One’s predilection for established, senior pros is a fundamental factor behind his success.
Throughout his current Chelsea tenure and three-year stay at Real Madrid that preceded it, Zouma and Rafael Varane are the only young players to be afforded regular first-team football.