Everton’s official Twitter feed shared the news:
BREAKING: John Stones signs new five-year deal at Everton. pic.twitter.com/ep5WblpkuY— Everton (@Everton) August 7, 2014
Signed as a relative unknown from Barnsley in January 2013, Stones’ stock rose considerably in a coming-of-age campaign last term.
The Englishman made 21 Premier League appearances last season, with his versatile nature making him an important asset for Roberto Martinez as the club chased a place in the Champions League.
He certainly impressed during that time, too, showing just how solid he can be at both the heart of defence and at right-back with a string of impressive performances, per WhoScored.com:
John Stones: Only James McCarthy (24) blocked more shots in the Premier League at Everton than Stones did (19) in just 21 apps #efc— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 7, 2014
Such brilliance warranted a call-up to the senior England squad for Stones, who made the standby list of Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad in Brazil.
While there are those that will argue that Stones isn’t quite ready for international duty, he certainly will be in the not-too-distant future if his progression continues at such an astounding rate.
That’s something that winger Steven Pienaar agrees with, too, saying that his colleague will be a mainstay in the England side in years to come, via Jack Gaughan of the Daily Mail:
Stonesy is totally different compared to other English central defenders. He's more of a ball player who is really comfortable in possession. It suits the manager and it's good for the team. I can understand why England put their hopes on him. He's certainly got a bright future and he's got a good head on his shoulders. I hope to see many more years of him playing at the top level for Everton and his country.
While Stones’ new, lucrative contract means that Everton will part with £30,000 per week for the defender’s services, per Gaughan, it’s another smart piece of business from the club.
Having tied down Ross Barkley to a long-term deal and brought Romelu Lukaku to Goodison Park on a permanent basis this summer, it’s an exciting time to be a Toffee ahead of the upcoming campaign.
Especially for Stones, who has a big chance to become a Premier League regular under Martinez in 2014/15. And while that means keeping one of Sylvain Distin or Phil Jagielka out of the side, the youngster certainly has it in him to do just that.