After months of speculation over his future, John Stones is set to sign a new five-year contract with Manchester City. The defender was supposed to run out his current contract at the end of next summer. However, his recent resurgence back to the top meant keeping him was a top priority for the club this summer, rather than losing him for free.
It won’t just be ‘any’ contract for the England international but one that will see him earn a significant pay rise as well. It is a commendable turnaround for the player, given how much criticism he has had to endure last season.
John Stones fully deserves a new contract
Having joined Manchester City with so much promise from Everton, John Stones didn’t initially live up to the hype and £47.5m fee City paid for his services in 2016. Injuries made his luck worse as he had to spend a good time on the sidelines as well.
He was becoming a frustrating figure at the Etihad until it turned around for the better last season. After recovering from yet another injury, Stones formed a formidable partnership with the mercurial Ruben Dias, where they conceded only 12 goals as City raced back to win the Premier League from rivals Liverpool.
While Ruben Dias was the standout name in defence, Stones stood out in his own right and equally had assured displays of his own.
The Athletic reports that the 27-year-old will now earn £250,000-a-week after signing his new contract. That will put him in the same earning bracket as the likes of Harry Maguire and Virgil Van Dijk.
If there was any doubt about his performances being a ‘fluke’, he carried that same form into the just-concluded European Championship, where England boasted the best defence on their road to the final.
Can Stones maintain his impressive levels?
John Stones seems to have found his feet and has looked solid in the heart of defence for both country and club over recent times. However, it remains to be seen if he can keep up at that level for so long. More appropriately, it remains to be seen if he’ll stay fit, given his injury record over the years. Provided he can stay injury-free, there is nothing to suggest why he won’t keep up and even possibly do better.
At 27, he still has a good number of top years in him and his experience will make him a suitable partner for Ruben Dias in defence.
Many have questioned the massive wages he is set to earn and only time will tell if City will be justified in their decision. City have already completed the signing of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa and this will also come as another ‘big move’ for the reigning Premier League champions.