Phil Jagielka says John Stones has taken his call-up to the England squad in his stride – just like the young defender did when he moved from Barnsley to Everton 18 months ago.
Stones was rewarded for a fine first full season at Goodison Park with a senior international debut in England’s 3-0 win over Peru on Friday.
The 20-year-old played the final quarter-of-an-hour at right-back after stepping off the bench to replace Everton teammate Leighton Baines.
Stones, who is on World Cup standby amid ongoing concerns over Phil Jones’ fitness, has now travelled with the England squad to Miami where the Three Lions play further warm-up games against Ecuador and Honduras before advancing on to Brazil.
Jagielka told evertontv: “He [Stones] was delighted to be part of this setup and he wasn’t even sure if he would be on the bench [on Friday], so to have come on and make his England debut is fantastic. He’s a great guy and hopefully there is many more to come.
“He’s the same as Ross. They have both come into the first team and settled in right away. The type of players they are and the attitudes they have got, they just settle in and do their thing.”
Seamus Coleman, who was also action over the weekend for the Republic of Ireland against Italy, is another Blue who had words of praise for Stones.
Coleman, 24, sees similarities between his rise to the international setup and that of Stones.
The Irishman moved from Sligo Rovers to Merseyside and earned recognition for his country after establishing himself in Everton’s first-team squad.
“I text him [Stones] after the game and it’s a massive honour for himself,” Coleman told evertontv. “After coming from Barnsley last January, I’m sure he didn’t think he’d be called up on standby for the World Cup. But he’s a top lad and everyone is so happy for him.
“It’s a big step up for him but he’s such a nice, quiet and modest lad and it will be difficult for him to stay away from the spotlight because he is such a good player. But I know he will stay grounded and hopefully he will have a few good years in an England shirt.”