It’s becoming crystal clear young Everton defender John Stones is destined for a glamorous move sooner rather than later with two massive clubs vying for his services, but as a prominent voice in football has pointed out, one makes much more sense.
Premier League champions Chelsea have already made a substantial bid for Stones in recent weeks which Everton rebuffed, while Manchester United’s failed pursuit of Sergio Ramos has now thrown the Red Devils’ hat into the mix.
Although he clearly has United in his blood, it’s difficult to disagree with club legend Rio Ferdinand’s assessments on the best place for Stones’ career to continue flourishing should he move on.
“If he goes to Man United, he plays every week so that’s the right club for him,” Ferdinand said. “If he goes to Chelsea, he’s not playing every week. He’s at that stage of his development where he wants to play every week.
“If you say to any young footballer to leave a club to sit on the bench, you’ve got to be a lunatic. You have to be.”
It’s strong stuff from Ferdinand though it has substance when looking at the pecking order at Chelsea, where John Terry and Gary Cahill’s concrete partnership had a huge hand in landing the Blues the title last season.
Compare that to United last term, where Louis van Gaal regularly employed three central defenders and chopped and changed personnel more often than Arsenal players took selfies.
Naturally there will be those who believe the boy touted to be an England regular for many years to come is far better off under the wing of Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park for another season at least.
There is certainly credence in this theory. Even at Old Trafford where the outlook on regular first-team opportunities is far rosier than at Stamford Bridge, he will not be guaranteed starts as he will be on Merseyside at a very good top-flight outfit.
However, if Stones moves to one of his potential suitors, the 13-time Premier League champion’s history of developing young talent is another huge tick for United over Chelsea, particularly with Jose Mourinho in charge of the latter.
If LVG manages to prise Stones away this summer and Rio gets his wish, expect United’s Premier League title odds to shorten from their current mark of 11/2 with only days remaining until the first match of 2015/16 against Tottenham.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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