John Stones didn’t partake in Everton’s draw with Aston Villa on Saturday – but he still revelled in his first Goodison Park experience.
The 18-year-old was introduced to his new home just two days after joining from Barnsley in the final hours of the January transfer window.
Against Paul Lambert’s side, Everton were roared forward by a near sell-out crowd as they staged a dramatic late comeback to salvage a deserved point.
And having tasted his first home matchday from the stands, Stones admits he now can’t wait for the opportunity to run out at the Blues’ famous old ground.
“There is a great atmosphere,” Stones told evertontv. “It is such a big stadium, the fans have been lovely to me so far and I’m looking forward to playing on it. Hopefully I will get my chance soon.”
A frenzied transfer deadline day saw Stones agree terms with Everton, undergo a medical and complete his transfer from the Tykes in the space of just a few hours.
The following morning he was back at Finch Farm to train for the first time and meet a raft of new teammates.
“It’s been very hectic,” he said. “I’m settling in and I’m sure the longer that I’m here the more settled I will feel. Everything has come very quick to me - signing, straight into training the next day, then here to Goodison.
“The lads have accepted me really well and they are all good lads. I’m happy to be in and around them. The first day of training was so good and it’s just such a new experience from where I have been. Hopefully it will carry on getting better. I’m sure it will.”
Stones has now headed away on international duty as England Under-19s prepare for their friendly against Denmark on Tuesday evening.
Also part of that squad is John Lundstram, his new Everton teammate who has also helped him adjust to life on Merseyside.
He continued: “I know John Lundstram so it's nice to have a familiar face around me. We've got an England game on Tuesday and hopefully we'll get a win with them. There'll be a little bit of banter I'm sure.”
Stones is set to win his third England Under-19s cap at the Keepmoat Stadium after playing against Germany and Finland in the final months of last year.
He added: “It’s a huge honour for me to pull on that England shirt. I can’t ask for much more, I’m thoroughly proud.
“Everyone’s fighting for their place. Everyone wants to pull the shirt on so badly because it’s a tremendous honour.
“Hopefully I’ll get it because I’m going to give it my all against Denmark, like I do in any other game.”