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John Stones compares playing alongside Man City’s Erling Haaland and England’s Harry Kane

John Stones compares playing alongside Man City’s Erling Haaland and England’s Harry Kane

John Stones knows a thing or two about world-class attackers, having competed against and with a multitude of them.

And the Manchester City central defender claims that he would not trade Harry Kane for Erling Haaland.

Kane has surprisingly not scored at this World Cup, despite England scoring nine goals in their three group stage games.

But when questioned if Kane is just as good as Haaland, Stones responds unequivocally: “Definitely. Erling is so new to our league, and Harry has been playing in it. They are both incredible players, incredible within their own rights. Harry has always been incredible for me, incredible to play with.

“The things (with Kane) that don’t get spoken about – the positioning, the headers from corners that us as defenders appreciate massively, what he brings to the team as a leader and as a person and as a presence, can outweigh sometimes what happens, or the outcome of things. He is a massive team player and I’m sure he’ll get on the scoresheet soon.”

Kane will start against the Senegalese despite occasional calls for him to be rested for the final group game against Wales. Kane has started all three games and is a lock to start against the Senegalese.

But this is not the case with Phil Foden, despite his brilliant, goal-scoring performance against the Welsh.

If Stones was selecting the starting lineup for City, it is likely that one of his teammates would be among the first to appear. He said: “I have never seen anyone like Phil, anyone at that age, with his ability, his football knowledge, his freedom in how he plays and how he expresses himself. The ability he’s got is frightening.

“I’m a huge fan of Phil, I’m lucky to get to play with him pretty much every day and I look forward to what he can do and love playing with him.

“I’m extremely lucky, City are extremely lucky, England are as well, that we’ve got someone like that and I want to help through whatever it might be and make sure he gets what he needs on and off the pitch that allows him to go and play like he did the other night.”

Stones, 28 years old, was a member of the 2018 World Cup side that was eliminated in the semi-finals after surrendering a one-goal lead to Croatia in Moscow.

And following an even closer miss at the Euros last year, Stones, who has been exceptional in England’s campaign thus far, is determined not to endure the same sort of misery for a third consecutive tournament.

He explained: “After coming so close twice now, especially with the last tournament, you never want to go through that feeling again. It’s probably more than likely I will through my career and I can’t get my head around that but I always want better than what I’ve done from previous times.

“I think it was, from 2018, a success in terms of uniting the nation and everyone loving English football again. But then you look at it and realise we were so close and wanted to do more. That’s somewhere I don’t want to be. We’ve got to do better than what we did last time. That’s the long and short of it.”

John Stones compares playing alongside Man City’s Erling Haaland and England’s Harry Kane

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