Chelsea look to add Stones to defence

Manchester City and England defender John Stones has been linked with a move to Chelsea as they look to sure up their defence.

With Chelsea coming off the back of their worst defensive season since 1990/91, strength needs to be added. Manager Frank Lampard is already looking at prospective left-backs and is now focussing on the centre of defence.

The Mirror have reported that Chelsea will pursue Stones’ signature even if negotiations with Brighton’s Lewis Dunk are successful.

Brighton’s English defender Lewis Dunk celebrates scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Arsenal at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on March 4, 2018. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY AFP PHOTO / Glyn KIRK/ GETTY IMAGES.

With Dunk being valued at £40 million, it would be reasonable to assume Stones is worth a similar fee. Perhaps a little less given his recent lack of match time. It has also been suggested that Chelsea might be pursuing a loan move.

Stones – along with Manchester United’s Harry Maguire and City’s Kyle Walker – formed the strong defensive line in Gareth Southgate’s England squad that made the semi-final at the 2018 World Cup.

Since the World Cup, Stones has struggled for consistency in performance and match time at City. He made just 12 Premier League appearances last season after separate injuries saw him miss a combined two months.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 07: John Stones of Manchester City receives medical treatment during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY LAURENCE REID/GETTY IMAGES.

With former Chelsea man Nathan Aké joining Manchester City from Bournemouth earlier in the month, Stones first-team opportunities at City look limited. A move away from The Etihad might be what he needs.

It is understood Chelsea have been keen on the defender for a while, with both José Mourinho and Antonio Conte looking at bringing him in.

What Stones Would Add

Stones alone won’t be able to arrest Chelsea’s defensive slide, but he could certainly help. A good pre-season followed by consistent first-team appearances could see a return to form for the 26-year-old.

Stones made just 12 Premier League appearances last season after separate injuries saw him miss a combined two months. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY GETTY IMAGES VIA THE BLEACHER REPORT.

A fully fit, in form Stones would certainly add to Chelsea’s team. A calm defender with ball-playing abilities above that of anyone currently in the squad.

With his lack of recent form, it is a bit of a gamble. But given Chelsea’s defence, it’s possibly one worth taking. Especially if Chelsea can get him game time he wouldn’t be afforded at City.

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