Former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany insisted John Stones will prove his quality and silence his critics.
Stones has won two Premier League titles among other honours since joining City from Everton in 2016, however, doubts remain over the England international’s long-term credentials in Manchester.
Errors and a lack of consistency have raised questions over Stones, who started 20 league matches last season but missed most of the run-in as Pep Guardiola preferred Kompany.
However, Kompany – who has since departed City for Anderlecht in a player-coach role – backed the 25-year-old to prove his doubters wrong.
The perfect celebration! All the action from @VincentKompany‘s testimonial!
— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 12, 2019
“I’ve always said John is one of the most talented defenders. He’s got such a bright future,” Kompany said.
“He’s already achieved a lot, let’s not forget that. He’s not a young defender anymore that hasn’t got any experience. He’s a multiple Premier League-winning central defender that is growing.
“The one thing I wish for him is consistency – consistency of games and consistency of fitness – and then he will show the world how good he is.
“By the end of it, if City can win a Champions League or something, all of a sudden he’ll be mentioned in a completely different category.
“He just has to get himself on the pitch, be himself and he’ll be fine. I’ve not seen signs of weakness I need to be worried about.
“He’s just a top-class defender. If now he gets to play games things will sort themselves out, no doubt.”
Stones started in City’s season-opening 5-0 rout of West Ham, however, a thigh injury has forced him to miss matches against Tottenham, Bournemouth and Brighton and Hove Albion.