JOHN STONES is likely one of the stars of the season and is anticipated to begin for England in opposition to Germany tonight.
The previous Barnsley man is one among quite a lot of the present Three Lions squad who made their first league look within the EFL.
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As our graphic beneath reveals, 16 of the 22 gamers in Gareth Southgate’s social gathering made their league debuts for lower-tier golf equipment — Joe Hart began at Shrewsbury earlier than profitable two Premier League titles at Manchester Metropolis.
South Yorkshire lad Stones is the jewel within the crown at Oakwell, having joined as a child.
And present Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom purrs: “Folks have been raving about him and the way effectively he has achieved since making his debut for us as a 17-year-old, and I’m not shocked.
“John continues to be solely 23, but already one of many high central defenders within the enterprise, and there’s extra to come back from him.
“What makes him particular is that he provides you one thing totally different.
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“In addition to being an excellent defender, he’s a complicated footballer who’s snug with the ball at his ft.
“All people likes to see him step out from the again and go the ball.
“That’s why I discover it unusual when the individuals who like to see him do which are first to criticise him for the odd mistake.
“That’s one thing he’s studying to take care of and he’s now being educated in a brand new manner by Pep Guardiola at Metropolis.
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“That may solely profit him sooner or later.” And Stones isn’t the one defender to come back via Barnsley en path to the big-time.
Alfie Mawson and Mason Holgate have each made Prem strikes to Swansea and Everton.
The Tykes additionally remodeled Marc Roberts — taking him from non-league Buxton and promoting him to Birmingham for an enormous £2million.
And Heckingbottom wouldn’t be shocked to see Holgate and Mawson emulate Stones by gatecrashing Southgate’s England plans.
Doncaster-born Holgate, 21, joined Barnsley’s academy at 9 and he has already performed for England’s Below-21s. Hecky revealed: “He has impressed folks within the worldwide set-up.
“Mason’s goal will likely be to observe in John’s footsteps, and he has each probability as he’s composed, and has a first-class understanding of the sport.
“It’s honest to say we’ve turn into a little bit of a breeding floor for central defenders in latest occasions.
“Centre-halves have taken centre-stage, beginning with John’s switch to Everton again in 2013.
“We appear to have the knack of turning uncooked expertise into diamonds earlier than promoting them for good cash and giving them the chance to advance their careers.”