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'Stones will show the world how good he is' - Kompany backs 'talented' Man City defender to step up

00:30 GMT+3 13/09/2019
John Stones Manchester City 2019-20
The England international is set to be recalled to Pep Guardiola's starting line-up for the coming months following Aymeric Laporte's knee injury

Vincent Kompany has no doubts about the quality of former Manchester City team-mate John Stones and says the defender just needs to add consistency to his game.

The England international lost his place to Kompany at the end of the last season as City put together a run of 14 straight wins to clinch the Premier League title by a single point.

Stones, 25, then endured a tough summer when he made an individual error as England were beaten in the Nations League semi-finals by the Netherlands.

But Kompany says the defender should concentrate on what he has already achieved and forget about his mistakes.

“I’ve always said John is one of the most talented defenders, he’s got such a bright future,” the Anderlecht boss said as he returned to the Etihad Stadium for his City testimonial.

“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 and 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.

“By the end of it, if City can win a Champions League or something, all of a sudden he’ll mentioned in a completely different category.”

Stones has missed City’s last three matches with a thigh strain but will be fit for Saturday’s trip to Norwich City.

His return could not come at a better time after Aymeric Laporte was ruled out for around three months with a knee injury while the Champions League starts on Wednesday with a clash against Shakhtar Donetsk.

And with Laporte set for such a long spell on the sidelines, it presents an opportunity for Stones to cement his place in the side, but Kompany insists he does not have anything to worry about.

“Honestly I don’t think we should look at it in that way,” he said. “He just has to get himself on the pitch, be himself and he’ll be fine.

“I’ve not seen signs of weakness I need to be worried about. He’s just a top class defender.

“If now he gets to play games, things will sort themselves out, no doubt.”

Kompany, was back at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night for a testimonial match to raise money for homeless charity Tackle4MCR.

City boss Pep Guardiola decided not to replace his former captain in the summer, instead bringing in full-back Joao Cancelo and midfielder Rodri as his only new signings.

Laporte’s injury at the back leaves City short of options, but Kompany said they only had four top centre-backs because of his persistent injury problems.

“Three world-class centre backs is awesome by any standard,” he added. “In the past we had the luxury of four. I’ve not seen many teams have four top, top centre backs.

“It wasn’t normal. It only happened because of circumstance. ‘OK, Vinny could break down, so we’ll bring in another one’.

“You saw throughout the season that no matter which pairing played, it was always solid.”