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Flitcroft 'gutted' by Stones move but tips him to play for England

By matthew murray, Sports Reporter Friday 1st February 2013
John Stones.

Barnsley manager David Flitcroft says that John Stones leaving to join Everton is like 'losing a member of family' but says the defender is good enough to make it in the Premier League and play for England.

 

Wigan were favourites to sign the England under 19 full-back but Everton swooped late last night to land Stones in a £3million deal. Flitcroft says he has asked Toffees boss David Moyes to let Barnsley take the player back on loan but views it as a 'long shot.'

 

Flitcroft told the Chronicle: “There’s been a bidding war for John Stones. On Wednesday night I was pretty confident that we’d be keeping him but I got the call at 9.30am on Thursday morning to say that John Stones would probably be leaving the club.

 

“I’m numb, it’s like losing a member of your own family. “I was asked if I could replace him on Thursday and the answer was no. How do you replace one of the best young defenders in England?

 

“There’s nobody out there as good as John Stones and that’s why clubs are prepared to pay £3million for him.I’ve tried to come up with something else and have gone for Rory Delap and we’ve still got Scott Wiseman who will play a massive part for us.”