Guardiola considers midfield role for Stones

John Stones - cropped
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A brief cameo in a more advanced role for the defender against Chelsea could be a sign of things to come for the Manchester City player

John Stones could spend time playing in midfield for Manchester City this season, according to Pep Guardiola

The 24-year-old England international, who helped City win the Premier League title last term after joining from Everton in 2016, is nominally a centre-back.

But Stones briefly moved up the field when Vincent Kompany came on as a substitute late in the 2-0 Community Shield win over Chelsea on Sunday.

Last season saw both Stones and Kompany injured which provided opportunity for Nicolas Otamendi to see plenty of time at the position. 

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And, with the desire to keep everyone involved, Guardiola acknowledged it was a promising display from the former Barnsley player at Wembley.

"John made an excellent World Cup and showed again his personality," he said.

"I was happy to see him in the last 10 or 15 minutes like a holding midfielder. John maybe can play there. We will see what's going on in the future. In the Premier League there are a huge amount of games and everybody will be involved."

Stones was a key member of England's World Cup squad, who made the semi-finals in Russia, but he will face a fight to keep his preferred position in a City side that has plenty of centre-back options. 

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However, Guardiola insisted that type of competition is a positive for everyone involved. 

Discussing Stone's prospects of regular playing time at the back, Guardiola said: "John has to know he has to play at a good level because Vincent and Nico [Nicolas Otamendi] are there, and they are going to play. Then, they have to play good. In the higher teams in the top tier, when they play in all competitions, you need this kind of competition."

City's defence of the league title starts away to Arsenal this weekend.