John Stones has revealed that one of his big ambitions is to become a captain of Everton at some point in the future.
It was announced on Thursday that the 20-year-old had agreed a new five-year contract at Goodison Park.
After signing his extended deal, Stones told evertontv of his hopes to emulate the success of Brian Labone, Kevin Ratcliffe and Dave Watson – all defenders who amassed hundreds of top-flight appearances for the Club and wore the armband with distinction.
He also believes current skipper Phil Jagielka – another centre-half - is the perfect role model to help him achieve his aim.
“I’d love to captain Everton,” declared Stones. “It’s a massive dream of mine and the big name players that have done it in the past, I would love to follow in their footsteps.
“I’d like to think that I have the attributes [to be a captain]. I’d like to think that I can do it in the future and, if that chance came along, I would jump on it straight away.”
He continued: “It’s been massive for my learning curve to play alongside Jags and Sylvain. They are experienced pros and to learn off them day in and day out and in games is helping me as a person.
“They are leaders and hopefully I can keep learning off them to get better as a player.”
The last 12 months have seen Stones feature in 21 Premier League games for Everton and make his senior England debut in a friendly against Peru in May.
He earned a second cap in the World Cup warm-up match against Ecuador in Miami and narrowly missed out on a place in the squad that went to Brazil.
He has credited Roberto Martinez for a year of exceptional progress – and believes the Blues boss is the ideal manager to help take his game to another level.
Stones added: “To get a first England cap at such a young age was a dream come true and that was only because of the hard work that the staff put in here at Finch Farm. They put the trust in me to play in front of the crowd at Goodison.
“The manager has been a real leader for me and [given me] a sense of direction. He has pointed me in the direction to improve each day.
“It’s one of the big factors why me and Ross [Barkley] are starting games. He puts faith in us and gives us the confidence to go out and express ourselves. He is definitely the right man for us.”
Stones also had a message for the Everton supporters.
“I can’t say it enough – the atmosphere they create at Goodison is unbelievable,” he added. “Everyone in the dressing room would say the same.
“Coming out to Z-Cars and the roar of the fans is something you could never forget.”
Watch Stones and his Toffees teammates play SC Paderborn this Saturday - the game is being broadcast live on evertontv. Click here to sign up now.