Rio Ferdinand has said that he believes he could have played a similar role to John Stones in his career, especially if was managed by Pep Guardiola.

In his column for the Mirror, the popular pundit commented on the 29-year-old’s incredible evolution under the Manchester City boss.

However, Rio Ferdinand believes he could have been comfortable in the ‘John Stones role’ as well.

Rio Ferdinand says he would have been able to play the ‘John Stones role’

Branded as ‘outstanding’ by Jamie Carragher, the treble-winner shocked the footballing world by dovetailing between centre-back or right-back into several roles in midfield last season.

Dominating across every phase of the pitch, Stones seems to have influenced the game in a manner that deserves to be applauded for decades.

Rio Ferdinand initially lauded John Stones and how he has taken to Pep Guardiola’s complex instructions without breaking a sweat.

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“I have to admit that I have watched with open admiration the way John Stones has become such an accomplished footballer under Pep. Stones has bought into Pep’s methods and is now reaping the benefits to such an extent that he steps forward from centre-back to midfield in the blink of an eye.”

Rio Ferdinand added by saying that he too could play the role in a similar manner to John Stones, saying, “I think that’s something I could have added to my own game. I played in midfield as a youth player and took great pride in being comfortable on the ball. I am as sure as I can be that; playing under the guidance of Guardiola would have made me a better player.”

Only a few defenders in history could have played the ‘John Stones role’

Rio Ferdinand is one of the select few defenders who had the technical and defensive attributes in tandem to perhaps be able to play the role John Stones did last season.

What makes Stones’ role increasingly difficult is the fact that one simply has to be so much more than just a top passer to thrive in the role.

Ball-carrying, dictating the tempo of the game, making forward runs and contributing to the attack whilst rushing back to defend in a back four; it is almost an impossible task to be able to execute as many asks.

However, this is what makes John Stones one of one.

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