Marcelo Bielsa told Leeds United should sign Man City defender John Stones
Former Leeds goalkeeper Paul Robinson reckons Marcelo Bielsa can rekindle John Stones' career at Elland Road
Marcelo Bielsa can help to revive John Stones’ career at Leeds United, according to former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
The Manchester City defender has fallen out of favour at the Premier League runners up over the past couple of seasons to cast doubt on his long-term future at the Eastlands outfit.
Stones has struggled to hold down a regular starting spot in the Manchester City team despite Citizens boss Pep Guardiola using midfielders Fernandinho and Rodrigo in unorthodox centre-half roles.
The 26-year-old was limited to 12 starts and four substitute appearances in the Premier League last season to fall behind Aymeric Laporte, Kyle Walker and Eric Garcia in the pecking order.
Stones was signed by Manchester City in a £50m deal from Everton in the 2016 summer transfer window after being rated as one of England’s biggest defensive prospects.
Leeds secured their return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence earlier this summer after the Elland Road outfit won the Championship title by a 10-point margin.
Bielsa has to fill the void left by Ben White after the 22-year-old defender returned to Brighton after a season-long loan at the Yorkshire club.
Former Leeds goalkeeper Robinson believes Bielsa could help to revive Stones’ career at Elland Road if the promoted side were able to get a deal over the line for the England centre-half.
“He’s clearly not in favour at Manchester City at the moment and with the way Bielsa likes to play – with centre-halves having to be comfortable with the ball at their feet – and he certainly fits that criteria,” Robinson told bookmakers.co.uk, as quoted by Leeds Live.
“But in the Championship Leeds conceded too many goals through defenders taking risks – John Stones is a player who takes too many chances and gets caught too often.
“Whether that would change under Bielsa, who is great at developing players as we’ve seen with Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper, would be an interesting one.”
Stones has scored five goals in 133 games in all competitions over the past four seasons.
The England defender has won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and two League Cups during his stint at Manchester City.
Stones came through the ranks at Barnsley before the England star moved to Everton in a £3m deal in 2012.
He spent three seasons at Goodison Park, where he established himself as a promising English talent.
Leeds United will start the Premier League campaign with a trip to Liverpool FC on Saturday 12 September.