By Coral Barry
Sol Campbell believes Everton’s John Stones is not ready to start at the Euros and would be lost against the tournament’s best strikers.
Stones is heading to his first major championships with England and will compete with Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill for the starting spot against Russia on June 11.
The Everton centre-back has been reportedly attracting the attentions of Barcelona and Chelsea this summer, but former Arsenal and Tottenham defender Campbell believes the tournament has come too soon for the 22-year-old.
“John is one to watch in the future,” said Campbell speaking to the Sun. “He reminds me of Alan Hansen.
“But he has to quicken up his play and make sure forwards don’t think he is always going to play out.
“Clever forwards will suss that. But his time will come. He needs to watch more and then eventually he will have his time.
“This tournament might be a bit too early for him.”
Roy Hodgson’s decision to bring just three centre-backs to France has been met with some criticism and it means Stones would be certain of game time if injury hit either Smalling or Cahill, although Eric Dier is also capable of providing cover at the back.
Stones is currently behind the two more experienced defenders in Hodgson’s thinking, but is tipped for great things in an England shirt and is currently valued at around £40million by his club.