Former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany believes fellow defender John Stones has a “bright future” and jut needs “consistency of fitness”.
The 25-year-old England international, Stones, has been tipped for the top for several years but errors and a lack of consistency have hampered his progress.
He was left out by City manager Pep Guardiola for much of the run-in to last season’s Premier League title success, with Kompany preferred on a number of occasions.
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But now with Kompany having left and Aymeric Laporte out injured for the next few months following a recent knee operation, Stones is set for a prolonged run alongside Nicolas Otamendi in the heart of City’s defence now that he has recovered from a hamstring injury.
Kompany, who was back in Manchester for his testimonial on Wednesday, said: “I’ve always said John is one of the most talented defenders. He’s got such a bright future.
“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.”
Laporte’s injury has left Stones and Otamendi as City’s only senior fit centre-backs ahead of Saturday’s trip to Norwich.
It led to question marks being raised about City’s decision not to sign another defender to replace Kompany in the summer transfer window, but the Belgian believes Guardiola is still well covered.
The 33-year-old, who departed the Etihad Stadium to become player-manager for R.S.C. Anderlecht in his homeland, said most clubs operate with three world-class centre-backs and a young one.
He added that City “have got unlucky with an injury, that’s it”.