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Neville says Stones can become new Pique

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville is excited to see what Pep Guardiola can do with John Stones at Manchester City. Neville thinks Stones has the talent to become the new Gerard Pique.

City spent £47.5 million to get the 22-year-old centre back from Everton, making him the most expensive defender in Premier League history. There’s been some criticism about Stones’ play after a defensively poor showing by Everton last season. But Neville believes that Guardiola can bring out the best for the England international.

“I’m delighted he’s gone to Manchester City, to Guardiola,” Neville told Sky Sports. “It’s the best club for him at the moment with the manager they have.

“In the past six months there has been so much criticism of John Stones – about what he shouldn’t do, about how he shouldn’t play – rather than celebrating what he is, that he’s willing to take big chances at the back on the ball.

“That he’s willing to pass out from the back, get on the ball as deep as possible, bring other players in, play passes into midfield. There’s been a lot of discouragement in the past six months.

“It reminds me of six, seven, eight years ago, a player exposed to Guardiola. It was a young Gerard Pique. You see a lot of Stones in Pique – a person who’s not filled his shirt yet.

“Pique has become a monster. He’s stronger, he’s taller, he’s more experienced. He’s been encouraged to play and to be himself.

“That’s the work that’s been done with him and he’s obviously played in a fantastic team at Barcelona. Pep Guardiola will try to create that same type of team and player at Manchester City.”

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