MX23RW : Sunday, July 22 01:29:57

Alan Irvine backs John Stones to become England regular

Alan Irvine believes that Everton defender John Stones can go on to become a mainstay in the England team in the future.

West Bromwich Albion head coach Alan Irvine has said that England can build their defence around Everton's John Stones in the future.

The 20-year-old was handed his international debut by Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson last month after being named on standby duty for the World Cup.

Irvine believes that Stones could go on to become a regular for his country.

"John absolutely has what it takes," he told the Liverpool Echo. "Centre-back is the hardest position to play as a young player.

"How many young centre-backs can you think of? They are all older as it is a position where you get better with age.

"So the fact that John isn't always making a last-ditch tackle shows the intelligence of the position for someone so young. He has a way to go but he's a really talented player. I'd be surprised if he does not become a real top player."

Irvine worked with Stones during his stint as academy manager at Everton.

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Everton's John Stones in action against Aston Villa during their Premier League match on February 1, 2014
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