Everton using John Stones experience to plot next transfer


After seeing bids of £30m come in for John Stones after paying £3m for him just shy of two years ago, Everton are reportedly on the hunt for another defensive investment from the Championship.

Stones has established himself as a regular at the heart of the Toffees defence and broken through into the England set up in just one full season since arriving from Barnsley.

This time though, it looks as though Roberto Martinez is looking to another northern club with a raid of Burnley reported.

Clarets defender Michael Keane has been an instrumental part of the Turf Moor outfit’s success this season that sees them flying high in fifth position in the second tier.

And after helping Sean Dyche’s men to five clean sheets this season, the Daily Mail are reporting that Premier League clubs are taking notice, with Everton in pole position to snap him up.

A move to Goodison Park wouldn’t be his first experience of the top-flight, having made 17 appearances for the Lancashire side in the Premier League last term.

The former Manchester United trainee is no slouch when it comes to getting on the scoresheet either, with three league goals to his name so far this season.

He spoke of how he had “no regrets about leaving United” in an ESPN interview at the start of the current season.

Having been at Old Trafford for six years and making just one senior league appearance, he realised the time was right to go.

“Once I accepted it and started playing regularly in the Premier League with Burnley that is all I wanted to do rather than sit on the bench at United,” he said.

Whether he would want to risk being in a similar situation might well be on his mind, but one only has to look at the development of Stones since joining the club.

The 21-year-old was given an opportunity in Martinez’s starting XI in his first full season at the club and with a few excellent performances has made the spot his own.

Keane only signed a permanent deal with Burnley in January, having been on loan from Old Trafford previously, but any solid interest and subsequent bid from his Merseyside suitors could prove too much to ignore.

TransferMarkt only value the defender at £1.4m but it is likely that a significantly higher bid plus add-ons will be required to tempt the Clarets to part company with their man.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.