Chelsea FC: John Stones is still the perfect signing

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: John Stones of Everton celebrates victory after the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Everton at St James' Park on December 26, 2015 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: John Stones of Everton celebrates victory after the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Everton at St James' Park on December 26, 2015 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) /

Despite his poor season, John Stones remains the perfect signing for Chelsea’s new-look team.

Last summer, Chelsea didn’t make any secret of their admiration for Everton’s John Stones. They pursued him for the majority of the summer, though remaining ultimately unsuccessful in their pursuit of the Toffee’s prized possession.

This left Chelsea in a poor position, forcing them to sign Papy Didjibodji on the last day of the transfer window. Jose Mourinho was subsequently sacked halfway through the season and the nightmare season was inevitable.

Now, Chelsea have a new manager in Antonio Conte, a man known for his defensive acumen. His Juventus and Italian national side are built to defend, not allowing other teams to outscore them. Conte is tasked with rebuilding a defense that allowed 53 goals in the Premier League last season.

More from Playing for 90

The former Juventus man is one of the premier coaches in the world right now. He is credited with building the team that continues to boss Serie A. Juventus has won 5 league titles in a row, three of which under Conte. The last two have come under Massimo Allegri who has clearly benefited from inheriting the squad that Conte built.

Fortunately for the Italian, he still has John Terry for one more season. The Englishman will be vital to Chelsea’s rebuilding. While he won’t play every game, his presence is valuable enough.

Chelsea need his leadership in the team in order to regain their swagger. Without Terry, the Blues are devoid of leadership. Terry’s presence is vital.

That being said, since he won’t be playing 38 Premier League matches, coupled with cup competitions, Conte will have to add defenders to the squad.

The fullback situation will need addressing. Azpilicueta is arguably the only reliable option. The hope would be that the Spaniard plays on the right and Chelsea find a different left back.

Baba Rahman cannot be trusted yet and Ivanovic playing on the right is equally as unreliable.

While work on the fullbacks clearly needs to take place, let’s focus on Chelsea’s centre back situation.

Terry can only be expected to play a limited role. This means that Chelsea will have to add at least once centre back to their ranks.

Kurt Zouma is expected to be fully recovered by kickoff in August. This means that Zouma should realistically start, assuming he comes back from his injury at full strength. That leaves the other position up for grabs.

Matt Miazga isn’t ready to fulfill that role. Gary Cahill isn’t the man either.

The Englishman is on the wrong side of 30 and doesn’t represent a long-term solution. Furthermore, Cahill struggles when not partnered with a healthy Terry, something we truly haven’t seen since their title-winning season.

While some of Chelsea’s academy and loan players are perhaps ready to make an impact, it would be risky to solely rely on them for this position. This means Christensen will likely spend another year on loan in Germany. Furthermore, Jake Clarke-Salter cannot be relied on heavily yet.

Therefore, Conte will be forced to dip into the transfer market. And the Italian can do worse than persuading John Stones into a Stamford Bridge move.

Since being heavily linked with a West London move, Stones has struggled at Everton, failing to live up to the billing. While some would say that he isn’t ready for a move to a larger club, I would argue the contrary.

The Englishman is destined for big things. Perhaps, he’s learned all that he can from Phil Jagielka as a defensive partner. With Conte’s defensive acumen, Stones would be learning under one of the best coaches in the world for his position.

Furthermore, the prospect of learning from John Terry is a tempting offer. Especially since the 35-year-old can focus on working with both Stones and Zouma, instead of preparing himself for a 50-match season himself.

Stones has all the natural talent he needs to be successful. He knows how to play the ball out of the back, even if there are still a few rough patches.

He also knows how to defend pretty well for his young age. This is where Terry can aid in his tracking and his ability to read the game. This was always a major strength in the Chelsea captain’s repertoire.

With Terry working closely with Stones, there’s no doubt in my mind that he can be successful at Stamford Bridge.

Furthermore, a future partnership of Zouma-Stones for years to come in West London is mouth-watering, especially if both players go on to fulfill their full potential.

More from Chelsea FC

Add in a capable fullback in Azpilicueta, who’s arguably the best full back defensively in the league and you can now begin to imagine a much stronger defense.

Furthermore, if Conte attempts to sign a quality left back as well, Chelsea may well return to their rightful place toward the top of the table. That’s not even mentioning Courtois.

Overall, Chelsea must dip into the transfer market for at least one centre back. With the future in mind, Conte could do a lot worse than John Stones.

It’s also important to point out that because Stones has struggled this season, there is a good chance that they can sign him for cheaper than they would have last summer.

Despite his poor season at Everton, Chelsea could do a lot worse than signing John Stones this summer.