Roberto Martinez has called for greater perspective over the form of John Stones, who came under renewed scrutiny after a slip during England’s defeat by Holland at Wembley.
Martínez said: “John is only 21 and people need to understand that. We accelerated his role at this club and over the last three seasons his progression has been remarkable but he is still learning the game. At Wembley you’re looking at how much he is affected by that mistake but from that point onwards he showed great character and how strong he is.
“At 21 he is still way ahead of where he should be. We should all be aware he’s such a young player and shouldn’t be under that scrutiny at that stage of his career. If you think that at 21 he will be the finished article then you’re in the wrong game.”