When it comes to central defenders at Tottenham, the truth is the club hasn’t really trusted one beyond Ledley King.
In the two seasons the club has played without their rock of 268 Premier League appearances, the Lilywhites have changed their mind more than once over the ability of Michael Dawson and signed two potential King replacements in Jan Vertonghen and Vlad Chiriches.
With Younes Kaboul only recovering from a long-term injury at the back end of last season, Spurs head into the campaign unsure over who their first-choice pairing is at the heart of their defence.
While it’s therefore easy to see why they are after Everton’s impressive John Stones this summer, a ground share with Arsenal is more likely. Here’s why:
Stones is Everton’s defensive leader elect
Asking a 20-year-old with the minimal experience of 21 top-flight appearances to call on to be the leader of your back line is admittedly ludicrous right now.
But Sylvain Distain is 36 and Phil Jagielka 31 this season, so sooner rather than later Roberto Martinez is going to be relying on Stones to be the constant in the Toffees defence.
He’s already an established first-teamer
Not only is the pride of Barnsley a huge part of Everton’s future, he’s a concrete post in their present plans too.
Stones started all but one of the Merseyside club’s final 13 all-competition matches last season, impressing greatly in doing so, an earning himself a spot on Roy Hodgson’s World Cup standby list.
When this campaign kicks off against Leicester, where Everton are 23/20 to win, expect Stones to be in the starting XI.
It’ll cost a pretty penny to get him
It’s long been the case that young British players cost what’s known round these parts as “an arm and a leg” when compared to their foreign counterparts, just look at Luke Shaw.
Having paid £8.5m for Chiriches a year ago, Spurs would be better served sticking with the Romanian than paying upwards of £12m to prise one of their rivals’ gems away.
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