Hemsworth’s Stones becomes English football’s most expensive defender

John Stones in action for Everton against Barnsley.
John Stones in action for Everton against Barnsley.
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Classy Hemsworth footballer John Stones has become English football’s most expensive defender following his £47.5 million move from Everton to Manchester City.

The 22-year-old England centre-back has signed a six-year deal to join the former Premier League champions and is eager to get started with his new club, now under the management of former Barcelona man Pep Guardiola.

He said: “It’s an ambitious club with a great manager so I can’t wait to get stuck in.

“I know it will be tough getting a place in this team, but I’m determined to become the best player I can be and help us to success.”

Everton confirmed they had received a “record fee” for Stones, who made 95 appearances in three seasons, scoring once.

Championship side Barnsley, the Hemsworth man’s first club, will get between £7m and £9m from a sell-on clause.

Stones will be in contention for a place in Manchester City’s opening Premier League game at home to Sunderland on Saturday.

He was praised by his new club, who said in a statement that he was “one of the world’s most promising centre-backs” with a reputation as a “ball-playing, 21st-century defender”.

Manager Guardiola said: “We want to help John show his quality with us and improve on what he has already achieved.

“I like the way he plays the game and I’m looking forward to welcoming him into the squad.”

Stones has come a long way since starting out in junior football in Hemsworth and joining Barnsley’s academy at the age of seven, staying at the club for 12 years.

He made his Barnsley first team debut at the age of 17 and made 24 league appearances before moving to Everton in January 2013 for a £3m fee.

He has 10 England caps and was part of the England squad at Euro 2016 but did not get a game before they were knocked out in the last 16 by Iceland.