John Stones backed to keep improving

Everton John Stones

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The scout who persuaded then Everton manager David Moyes to sign John Stones from Barnsley is pleased that the 21-year-old did not move to Chelsea in the summer.

Tony Henry also thinks the defender is good enough to eventually play for Real Madrid.

Moyes signed Stones from the Tykes for £3million in January 2013 and the player has gone on to feature in 48 Premier League matches for the Goodison Park-based club.

Stones has also broken into the full England side and came on as a substitute on Tuesday when England beat Switzerland 2-0 in their latest Euro 2016 qualifier.

Chelsea tried unsuccessfully to sign Stones during the summer and Henry, who is now the director of recruitment at West Ham United, said: “John will still make mistakes but, in two years, I think he could be anywhere. He could be at Real Madrid.

“I’m glad he stayed at Everton because, if he had gone to Chelsea or Manchester United, he would have played, but I feel it may have been too much for him at the moment.”

Meanwhile, new striker Leandro Rodriguez is confident that he can make the grade in the Premier League.

The 22-year-old Uruguayan moved to Everton in a £500,000 deal from River Plate Montevideo in the summer, and said: “It’s a big dream to come to a large club like Everton. It’s also a very big responsibility but I am very confident in my abilities.”

Everton face Chelsea on Saturday lunchtime and are 4.00 to beat Joe Mourinho’s side. A victory for last season’s Premier League champions can be backed at 1.95 while the draw is 3.50.

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