Neville hails ‘new Pique’

Former Valencia boss Gary Neville believes new Manchester City signing John Stones could become the next Gerard Pique.

Neville feels Stones, who joined the Blues from Everton on the eve of the new season and made his debut against Sunderland last Saturday, has similar qualities to the Barcelona central defender and says City boss Pep Guardiola is the perfect tutor for him at this stage of his career.

“I’m delighted he has gone to City, to Guardiola, as it’s the best club for him at the moment with the manager they have,” said Neville on Sky’s Monday night football show.

“In the past six months there has been a lot of criticism of Stones – what he shouldn’t do, how he shouldn’t play – rather than celebrating what he is and that he is willing to take big chances at the back on the ball.

“It reminds me of six, seven, or eight years ago, of a player exposed to Guardiola. That was a young Gerard Pique. You can see a lot of Pique in Stones – a player who has not filled his shirt yet.

“Pique has become a monster. He's stronger, taller, and more experienced. He's been encouraged to play and to be himself.

“That's the work that has been done with him and he's obviously played in a fantastic team at Barcelona. Pep Guardiola will try to create that same type of team and player at City.”

Tags everton Gary Neville John Stones Manchester City Pique