Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said that John Stones has room for improvement on the playing field. The England international has struggled to attain regular playing time with the Citizens over the past year and of late, there have been situations whereby he has been left on the bench or excluded from the matchday squad altogether.
With the injury comeback of Aymeric Laporte, Stones could potentially drop down the selection order further but Guardiola insists that he must show more responsibility towards the team than the player, he told: “He has good points and some have to improve. It is simple, he is a young central defender. I want to make decisions that he likes but I have to make decisions to be honest with me. I know it is not easy for him.”
“Of course I want all my players selected for the national teams at the Euros but I have to think about every game and making decisions about tomorrow and day after day. Not for the future. They have to play here as well as possible then after that go to the national team. I have to decide, to choose, but of course.”
Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi have been the regular picks at the heart of the defence this term but that partnership could be broken with Laporte expected to return after the winter break. The Frenchman made his comeback during the 1-0 win over Sheffield United last month but he has since been out of contention with the Guardiola describing fatigue as the main reason.
The likes of Harry Maguire, Joe Gomez, Tyrone Mings, and Michael Keane are competing alongside Stones for the central defensive spot with the Three Lions and the former Evertonian could be dropped from the squad ahead of Euro 2020 unless he is able to retain a regular starting role for the rest of the campaign.