The Premier League is a very fine platform upon which to play football, but over the last few seasons it’s difficult to deny that Spanish clubs have raised the bar. The last three editions of UEFA’s two most prestigious competitions have been snapped up by La Liga sides.
Wouldn’t it be good then, if one or two of England’s best were able to bring a few Barcelona or Real Madrid trade secrets into the national team environment?
Three Lions great Gary Lineker and Liverpool legend Steve McManaman, who made the Euro 96 Team of the Tournament, both enjoyed successful spells at the Camp Nou and Bernabeu respectively and remain glowing examples of English exports to the continent.
Gareth Bale, though clearly not English, is a Brit with a pair of Champions League winners’ medals in his collection from just three seasons at Los Blancos.
Now, as England put their final preparations in place for Euro 2016, one of their number has reportedly been approached by Luis Enrique’s La Liga champions.
John Stones has long been billed as a paragon of English defending, labelled as a technician worthy of turning out for Barca or any top club by various notable voices in the game.
The Guardian newspaper dropped news that the Spaniards’ have offered Stones a £90k per week deal, although they also insinuate the Everton star is more likely to refuse the Blaugrana’s advances in favour of a switch to Manchester City.
With Pep Guardiola taking charge the Etihad Stadium’s appeal is greatly heightened, but it would arguably be so much more beneficial for Stones to make the transition abroad and test himself among the world’s best.
If Stones was persuaded to become a Barcelona player, it makes sense that England would greatly benefit.
His Three Lions teammates would certainly look up to the 22-year-old if he was playing week in week out with the likes of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta.
Should Stones excel at Euro 2016 with England then perhaps Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid will throw their hats into the ring too.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.