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No Stones unturned

Posted on 21 May 2015  - 07:00

The similarities between Eric Dier and Everton’s John Stones are uncanny.

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Versatile defenders at home at right-back or centre-back, the pair have shone both at club and international youth levels.

Indeed, they were team-mates in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in 2013 and played at U18, U19 and now U21 levels for the Three Lions and have now been named in the squad for the European U21 Finals this week.

Both have also shown what they can do in the Premier League after Eric’s arrival from Sporting Lisbon last summer. He’s gone on to play 35 times for us in all competitions including 27 appearances in the Premier League.

Stones made his breakthrough last season and just missed out on a place in England’s 2014 World Cup squad. He’s played 27 times in 2014-15.

“I know Stonesy really well and we go back quite a long way,” said Eric.

“I’ve been to a couple of tournaments with him for England and he’s done unbelievably well since I last saw him with England. I’m really happy for him.

“We go back to Under-18s, Under-19s, we went to the World Cup together in 2013 and we’ve played Under-21s together.

“He’s a great player and he’s proved that over the last two seasons at Everton.

“When I first met him he was a right-back and now he’s changed to centre-back at Everton.

“He’s got it all really, he can do everything, all the nitty-gritty a defender needs to do and he’s a great footballer as well.

“It’s great to have players like him around and we can certainly push each other internationally.”