Arsenal have not given up hope of enticing Pep Guardiola

By Amir Mir

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes John Stones has similar playing traits to Everton boss Ronald Koeman.

Former Barcelona midfielder Guardiola played with centre-back Koeman during their time at the Nou Camp.

Dutchman Koeman is regarded as one of the finest ball playing defenders to have graced the field, with his technique, set-piece ability, mind-set and passing seeing him earn many plaudits during his playing career.

Now, his former Barca teammate Guardiola has compared his young English talent Stones to Koeman, as both managers are set to meet on the touch line on Saturday afternoon.

“They’re quite similar in the sense that they both like to play the ball,” said Guardiola, as quoted by TalkSport. “Normally, a central defender is a big guy who plays with the head and marks man to man and is strong in the air.
“We need that, of course, but now it’s the added plus of the quality of his play. John has similarities to Ronald, especially in terms of mentality.

“John is a guy who wants to play under pressure. Normally, the players who like to play the ball handle the pressure better than the other ones.

“Ronald was by far one of the best central defenders I’ve ever met. I cannot compare now, not yet, but maybe in the future.”

Former European cup winner Koeman made 221 appearances for Barcelona scoring an impressive 77 goals from a sweeper position.

By contrast England international Stones made a £47 million move to the Etihad from Goodison Park in the summer, making him the world’s second most expensive defender.

Stones will be gearing up to take on his former teammates at the weekend, when Koeman’s Toffees side travel to Manchester.

In other Everton team news, Michael Owen claims this key player will be omitted when Manchester City host Ronald Koeman’s side on Saturday afternoon.