Roy Hodgson believes that John Stones has the ability to play in the centre of midfield – but insists he won’t start the Everton defender there for England just yet.
Stones, who is capable of playing at right back as well as his preferred position as centre half, was called up to the England squad for the upcoming friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands.
After suffering an injury at the start of 2016, the 21-year-old has had to bide his time at Goodison Park as Phil Jagielka and Ramiro Funes Mori formed a strong partnership in the heart of the defence.
But the seven-times capped international will no doubt be on the plane to Euro 2016 with the Three Lions come the summer, such is his undoubted talent.
And England boss Hodgson claims that Stones’ versatility, comfort on the ball and all-round strong ability could see him deployed in a midfield role in the future.
“I brought the subject up with him. Have you ever played there [midfield]?” Hodgson said. “How would you feel about it?
“He said, as you’d expect, that he could do that job. But with the players we have got, it’s not something I’d be doing straight away.
“It would be putting someone in a position he’s not played before going into a big tournament, which is a bit too much. You’d want to give them an opportunity to play that.
“We’d like John Stones at centre-back or right-back.”