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21st of October 2018

Sport



John Stones envious of former Man City prospect's England rise

Manchester City defender John Stones says he wishes his route into the England team had been similar to that of former City prospect Jadon Sancho.

Sancho left the Etihad last summer in search of first team football and has since impressed at Borussia Dortmund to the extent that Gareth Southgate included him in the England squad for the games against Croatia and Spain over the international break.

Stones has made 35 appearances for the national team since his debut in 2014, and has been impressed by the latest recruits' seamless transition to the senior side.

"They've hit the ground running," Stones said of Sancho, Leicester's James Maddison, Derby's Mason Mount and Brighton's Lewis Dunk, who are all in Southgate's squad for the first time.

"I wish I could have done it how they have coming into their first camp.

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"I was a lot more nervous than they were.

"They've expressed themselves and I think that's a great environment that we've set, a welcoming environment.

"We want players to feel comfortable and try and get the best out of them."

England play Croatia in the UEFA Nations League tonight and Stones believes the future is bright for the national team's fortunes with the introduction of fresh young talent into the squad.

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"They've got in the squad because of the ability that they've shown in the games and what they have," he said.

"Sso it's an exciting time for English football with all the young talent that's coming through.

"It's something that we should, as a nation, be proud of and grasp."

"We should keep encouraging these young players to keep improving and keep striving to play more regular football, which then will get them into what they want and hopefully get them in more England squads, more experience and better things for them as players."

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