Roy Keane praises the in-form John Stones for ‘ripening’ and ‘bouncing back’ after poor displays

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Roy Keane praises in-form John Stones for ‘growing up and bouncing back’ after ‘taking his eye off the ball’ during a bad spell for Manchester City and saying the defender could be ‘a great asset’ to England at the European Championship

  • Roy Keane has praised John Stones after his recent screenings for City
  • Stones claimed his spot under Pep Guardiola and eventually won a recall in England
  • Keane believes that Stones has become ‘more mature’ and has a big role to play in the European Championship

Roy Keane has praised John Stones for ‘coming back and growing up’ after a scorching string of bad displays, with the pundit backing the defender to play a big part for England at the next euro.

Stones won his first England call-up this week in more than a year after turning his fortune at Manchester City – reclaiming his place in the line-up and helping the team in their bid for the Premier League title.

His form has come at just the right time with a major tournament on the horizon this summer as the player was picked to start England’s first World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Thursday.

John Stones recently had a great run for Manchester City

Roy Keane praised him for coming back and coming of age under Pep Guardiola

Roy Keane praised him for coming back and coming of age under Pep Guardiola

John Stones has been praised by Roy Keane (right) for his recovery and maturation after poor form

Former Manchester United midfielder Keane praised the center-back for his consistency, saying he was doing well to recover after ‘taking his eye off the ball’.

“Stones have grown up,” he told ITV ahead of England’s match at Wembley. ‘He made mistakes and scored a few goals.

Gareth wants him to play from the back. He lost confidence, but he has returned and grown up. I think he took his gaze off the ball and lost focus. ‘

Southgate has a big decision to make regarding his defensive picks this summer, with some options in the middle half, but Keane believes Stones would be his best player and even ahead of Man United’s Harry Maguire.

Keane believes that Stones has finally regained his confidence after appearing in the lead role for City

Keane believes that Stones has finally regained his confidence after appearing in the lead role for City

Keane believes that Stones has finally regained his confidence after appearing in the lead role for City

The pundit has wrapped up Stones to play a big part for Gareth Southgate at the Euros this summer

The pundit has wrapped up Stones to play a big part for Gareth Southgate at the Euros this summer

The pundit has wrapped up Stones to play a big part for Gareth Southgate at the Euros this summer

With England known for playing in a 3-4-3 formation under Southgate, Keane feels that Stones is best equipped to play in that system for the Three Lions.

“He could be a great asset to England,” Keane added. Its shape would suggest [he’s ahead of Maguire] the form in which he finds himself. If Gareth is playing a back-three, Stones would be one of the main players because he is comfortable in possession.

After his first call-up since November 2019, Stones admitted that he was ‘absolutely made up’ to reclaim his place after a nervous wait to find out if he made Southgate’s squad.

Stones (right) admitted he was 'absolutely made up' to reclaim his place on the English side

Stones (right) admitted he was 'absolutely made up' to reclaim his place on the English side

Stones (right) admitted he was ‘absolutely made up’ to reclaim his place on the English side

“I was very nervous,” said Stones. ‘I had worked so hard and I heard people say,’ You have to be there ‘. But I took none of that until the text (from the FA) arrived.

‘I was absolutely made up. It was a special moment – a very special moment.

‘It has been a long time since I have put on an England shirt and hopefully I can do that again this week. I would like to play all three games. ‘

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