Glenn Hoddle believes Everton defender John Stones has all the attributes to be as good as Rio Ferdinand and Alan Hansen.
The Toffees youngster has earned plenty of plaudits for his composed style of play and his potential has attracted heavy interest from Chelsea, who had a number of bids rejected for him in the summer.
Everton’s next fixture comes against the Blues and they are currently 4.00 to win, with the draw 3.40 and Jose Mourinho’s side are 1.91 to claim the points at Goodison Park.
Stones produced another solid display for England in Saturday’s 6-0 win over San Marino, making the most of the extra time afforded to him on the ball to bring it out from the back.
The 21-year-old’s talents have seen him likened to Ferdinand who was first brought into the England squad by Hoddle back in 1997.
“He still has a lot to prove but John Stones is the most exciting central defender since Rio Ferdinand came on the scene,” Hoddle wrote in the Daily Mail.
“I gave Rio his England debut in 1997 and I remember how exciting his potential was.”
“You see the same attributes in Stones: comfort on the ball, the desire to come out and to contribute to the build-up.”
He added: “In my playing career, no one was better at keeping cool under pressure than Alan Hansen. And in John I can see hints of Hansen.”