Bielsa backed to overcome major risk and resurrect Man City outcast

Date published: Monday 24th August 2020 7:52

Bielsa-Leeds-Getty

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa would have a job on his hands to resurrect John Stones’ career if the Manchester City defender moved to Elland Road, according to one pundit.

Stones has fallen down the pecking order at City, with Aymeric Laporte and Nicolas Otamendi preferred by Pep Guardiola,

Indeed, the England international only made 24 appearances in all competitions last season. Sixteen of those came in City’s below-par Premier League showing.

As such, the 26-year-old is reportedly a target for a move elsewhere, with Leeds one side linked with a move.

The Whites are fighting a losing battle in the hope of re-signing Ben White from Brighton on a permanent deal. Meanwhile, Robin Koch is also reportedly a target for Bielsa.

According to Paul Robinson, however, Stones could have hope of rediscovering his form with a move to West Yorkshire.

“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 (via LeedsLive).

“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’ key problem is his lack of composure at crucial moments in important games. Indeed, he struggled last summer as England crashed out of the Nations League to the Netherlands.

STONES’ ENGLAND FUTURE UNCERTAIN

John Stones England

It is unclear whether Stones will receive a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s latest squad on Tuesday.

Aside from the City centre-back, Harry Maguire is a doubt amid his active court case in Greece. Meanwhile, White could receive his first call-up following his impressive season with Leeds.

Tyrone Mings will also be a consideration after his important influence in Aston Villa’s escape from relegation. Chelsea’s Fikayo Tomori may also be in Southgate’s thoughts.

The Three Lions are back in action next month when the latest edition of the Nations League begins.

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