Manchester City centre-back John Stones has been enjoying a great run of form of late and he took his performances to an all new level on Sunday as he scored a brace in their Premier League game against Crystal Palace.
Stones recorded a cleansheet as well, which was his seventh in the last nine games. An emotional Stones spoke to the media after the match and he said that a recall to the national team would mean everything to him.
“It’s hard when you’re not playing for your club and especially your country,” said the 26-year-old.
“Watching them on TV is something no player wants to do. All I can do is get a run of games and impress Gareth [Southgate]. If it happens it happens.
“It would mean everything.”
Stones has been out of the England squad since November 2019. He fell out of favour from Manchester City’s first XI during this period too, but he has fought his way back into the side.
The 26-year-old was one of the most sought-after centre-backs in the Premier League when he arrived at City from Everton for £47.5m in August, 2016. That made him the world’s most expensive defender at that time as well.
But he couldn’t settle in to the side properly after making the switch to City. He made just 16 appearances last season but it seems like he has finally established himself this time. Not only that, Stones has formed a formidable partnership with Ruben Dias at the back. They have conceded just one goal in the 10 games they have started together.
“Ruben Dias has been great, he deserves a lot of credit since he’s come in and he’s adapted well to the Premier League,” said Stones.
“It’s been great for me to play alongside him, he’s so easy to get on with on and off the pitch. It’s just clicked. When it happens like that you enjoy your football and I’m definitely enjoying it with him.”
Talking about his own revival as a player, Stones said: “I wouldn’t say it’s confidence, it’s looking at what I can affect and improve on. It’s down to me to look at myself. I went away and worked hard every day on the training pitch, in the gym, making sure I’m ready to be called on.
“Looking at every detail, recovery or whatever it is, I dedicated everything to get back into the team and to show I’m fighting for the shirt, my team-mates and the club.”