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Flitcroft still hopeful of getting Stones back on loan

By matthew murray, Sports Reporter Friday 8th February 2013
John Stones.

John Stones returned to Barnsley on Thursday to say goodbye to his former team-mates and there is still a chance he could re-join the Reds on loan according to manager David Flitcroft.


Stones, who completed a £3million move to Everton last week, wasn’t in the squad as his new club drew 3-3 with Aston Villa on Saturday. He played 70 minutes in England under 19s’ 3-1 win against Denmark at the Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday.


Flitcroft hopes the 18-year-old’s visit on Thursday will not be his last.


“It wasn’t part of the deal to bring him back on loan,” Flitcroft said.


“David Moyes wants to assess him in his squad. This would have been a good week to do that but Stonesy has been on international duty.


“Is John ready for Premier League football? The step up is a big one and most of John’s adaptation will come in the summer.


“Bringing him back is something we’re looking to explore and I’d like to think Stonesy would come back here because he’s got some unfinished business here.


“We looked at getting Jacob Butterfield back but Norwich didn’t feel it right to send him back to the club he came from. It happens quite a lot.


“There’ll be a few clubs who will want Stonesy.”


Meanwhile, fellow youngster Reuben Noble-Lazarus has been offered a two-and-a-half year deal to stay at Oakwell.


Flitcroft said: “The club has realised the success with Stonesy probably came with him being offered a long-term contract. As coaches and mentors we want to have a development plan for these players.”