Jamie Redknapp has told the Daily Mail that John Stones is capable of getting his career back on track, and suggested that Arsenal make a move for the centre-back this summer.
Stones has struggled for game-time in the Premier League this term. Even if he starts every league game between now and the end of the season, he will still end the campaign with his fewest number of starts since his £47.5 million move to Manchester City.
He has arguably struggled for consistency during his time at the Etihad Stadium. But Redknapp insisted that he has time to get back to his best and develop further – and the pundit added that he is one player Mikel Arteta should be looking at.
“He is quick, strong and brave in the air but he’s made high-profile mistakes,” he told the Daily Mail.
“The spotlight has been on him since he was signed from Everton for £47.5million so his errors always catch attention.
“But Stones is still only 26 — the same age Van Dijk was when he joined Liverpool. He is young enough to mould, but has only started once in the league under Pep Guardiola since January.
“Arsenal need a centre back, and Mikel Arteta knows Stones from his City days. That could be a good fit.”
TBR View: Arsenal need to improve defence this summer, but Stones move would look like gamble
Arteta will be under no illusions regarding how important it is that Arsenal’s defence improves – particularly after Sunday’s defeat in the North London derby.
There appear to have been numerous defensive mistakes this term. And thus, the fans would be forgiven for wanting new signings brought in when the transfer window opens.
Stones however, may be the kind of signing that divides Arsenal supporters. He will surely not come cheap, and there arguably is a significant question mark hanging over whether he can rediscover his best form.
Some will have their doubts, particularly if he is the only addition to the current defensive ranks.
But, as Redknapp notes, it could prove to be a masterstroke if Arteta can get the best out of him again.