Pep Guardiola has warned defender John Stones to stay fit, if he is to reach his potential at Manchester City.
Since joining the club for £47.5m in 2016, the England defender has featured in just 121 of their 205 matches, but Guardiola still believes Stones can become one of the world’s best players.
“He has the conditions to do it, but to be the best central defender you have to play one entire season, every three days being there,” said the City boss.
“It’s difficult to reach the potential that he has, he has to be at the level to play regularly. The last three seasons and a half he could not do it.
“Sometimes when you have a tough injury – for example like Aymeric (Laporte) had this season or (Ilkay) Gundogan in the first, or (Benjamin) Mendy the year he arrived – it’s unlucky.
“But in the case of John, I don’t know why he has not been able to play regularly.
“We try to help him. We have tried to do the best to help him since the first day of the three-and-a-half years we have been here. We do everything for him.
“It depends on him. It’s in his hands and in his head to become one of the best.”
Stones looks set to return from his hamstring injury on Saturday as FA Cup holders City take on Port Vale – a match which will see him come up against Tom Pope.