Pep Guardiola Considering Midfield Role for John Stones After Community Shield Cameo

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is considering a midfield role for John Stones ahead of the upcoming season, after the Spaniard used the English defender in the position during the Community Shield win over Chelsea

As reported by FourFourTwo, Guardiola was impressed with the ball playing centre half’s brief cameo in a more advanced role after Vincent Kompany’s late introduction to the traditional curtain raiser. 

The 24-year-old, who has won the Premier League, Carabao Cup and now the Community Shield with the Citizens since arriving from Everton in 2016, has always caught the eye with his passing skills and willingness to receive the ball. 

Despite the midfield experiment lasting just 15 minutes as the final whistle drew closer, Guardiola was keen to acknowledge the former Barnsley man’s performance in the role. 

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager said: “John made an excellent World Cup and showed again his personality.

“I was happy to see him in the last 10 or 15 minutes like a holding midfielder. John maybe can play there. We will see what’s going on in the future. In the Premier League there are a huge amount of games and everybody will be involved.”

Playing time in his natural position of centre back could be hard to come by for Stones this season, as all of Aymeric Laporte, Nicolas Otamendi, Vincent Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala battle for a place in Guardiola’s starting XI. 

On the England international’s chances of playing at the back this season, Guardiola said: “John has to know he has to play at a good level because Vincent and Nico [Nicolas Otamendi] are there, and they are going to play. 

“Then, they have to play good. In the higher teams in the top tier, when they play in all competitions, you need this kind of competition.”

Guardiola is still searching for another midfielder as back up for Fernandinho with just days remaining before Thursday’s 5pm deadline, but after missing out on Jorginho to Chelsea, he may have to modify Stones’ position slightly. 

City start their defence of the Premier League title away to Arsenal this weekend. 

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