Manchester City reportedly have concerns over the mental strength of John Stones after the defender lost his place in the starting XI.
The former Everton man was hugely impressive in the first part of the season as Pep Guardiola’s side set about establishing a lead atop the Premier League table.
However, a series of setbacks have followed for Stones, and he is now reportedly struggling for confidence.
Goal.com claim: “The City coaching staff were concerned about his mentality last season, worrying that he would dwell so much on his past errors that it would affect his future performances.
“Guardiola would never even hint at that in public and in fact he once praised the size of Stones’ ‘balls’, pointing out that his centre-backs need to defend huge spaces, usually against quick players, as well as take risks in dangerous areas to start attacks with their passes.”
City meanwhile have managed to cope without Stones well, with Aymeric Laporte and Nicolas Otamendi anchoring down the starting roles and Vincent Kompany returning to the fold.
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