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Flitcroft: Stones Is One of the Best

22 January 2013

Flicker says Stones valuation is 'disrespectful'

Reds Manager David Flitcroft has set the record straight amid media reports suggesting the club would be happy to accept an ‘underscore’ price for rising star John Stones.

The 18-year-old defender, who has adapted to Championship life with ease in his first professional year, has reportedly attracted the interest of several top-flight outfits.

Stones, who has been at Oakwell since he was eight years old, has made 24 appearances this season and improved in every single outing.

“If there was a deal out there, then it would have to favour the club because he is one of the best hot prospects in the land,” said Flitcroft.

“We’re in a position where the lads are fighting and John is a vital part of that.

“He started off at right-back, he can play right-sided centre-half and in a three as a centre-half, and also now, which is a specialised position, to see John playing as a wing-back is really exciting for me as a Manager.”

But Flitcroft, who has overseen the development of Stones over the last 18 months, has claimed that the valuation of the defender in some reports are ‘disrespectful’.

“Is it right that another manager would want to move him and put him in a reserve team or 21s team? I don’t think it is for the kid,” Continued Flitcroft. “We’ve allowed him to make mistakes in the Championship and that’s why he’s become the player he has. Long may it continue at this football club.

“This kid wants to play football, this kid won’t be changed by money, that’s one thing I can guarantee.

“I think possibly some of the valuations out there are a bit disrespectful and derisory to John’s ability. So, I think in the going market, the valuation that you’re hearing reported is probably half of what the kid’s worth. We don’t need to sell him for an underscore price, it’s just something that whilst clubs are interested in him and he’s playing in the Championship, the price is going only one way.

“I brought Mick Mellon and Martin Scott in, who have great football experience, soon as they saw him they couldn’t believe his age and temperament. Straight away they’ve loved working with him.

“It’s something that might sound pricey, but we’re talking about one of the best defenders in English football at the minute.”

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