Gareth Southgate: 'John Stones deserves England spot'

Everton's John Stones in action against Aston Villa during their Premier League match on February 1, 2014
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Gareth Southgate believes that Everton defender John Stones has earned his place on England's standby list for the World Cup.

England Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate has said that Everton defender John Stones has earned his place on the senior team's standby list for the World Cup.

The 19-year-old could be drafted into Roy Hodgson's final 23-man squad for the tournament if Manchester United defender Phil Jones fails to recover from a shoulder injury in time.

Stones is part of the squad which will travel to Portugal for a training camp this week, before flying to Miami to play friendly games against Ecuador and Honduras.

"John deserves to be involved in the group that are going to Portugal and Miami," Southgate told Everton's official website.

"The last period of the season where he was in the first team at Everton, he was so accomplished.

"He's so comfortable with the ball and so composed in possession of the ball, but he's good with his one-on-one defending, he's been a pleasure to work with and I'm delighted for him."

England will return from Portugal to face Peru in a friendly at Wembley on May 30.

 Phil Jones of Manchester United holds his shoulder after sustaining an injury during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Hull City at Old Trafford on May 6, 2014
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