Chelsea and John Stones: A time to forget and move on.
As Chelsea prepare to face Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday, expect plenty of focus and med...
As Chelsea prepare to face Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday, expect plenty of focus and media attention to surround John Stones, his reported transfer request and Chelsea's failed bid to sign him. There is still a game to win and it's time we all forgot about it and moved on.
The Bookies had it nailed on that John Stones would be a Chelsea player by 1st September, the Press and Media would have you believe it was going to happen and you could have even used a token free bet to put masses of money on that happening!
Much has been made of the amount of money that Chelsea (reportedly) offered for Stones. Everton were not prepared to let him go and despite repeated bids made with higher values offered, Roberto Martinez and the Everton Board stood firm.
Reports then followed of a transfer request made by John Stones seeking to leave Everton which was subsequently turned down. As the transfer deadline passed, Stones remained on Merseyside.
So what now for Chelsea and for Everton? For Everton, a mixed reaction greeted Stones from the Terraces but I am sure given time and performances, that will change.
Everton have done well to hold onto one of their prised assets despite new reports this morning stating that the player will "insist" on a minimum release clause to be inserted into any new contract offering by the club. As yet, that is to be confirmed but reports have us believe that could be as much as £35-£38m.
As for Chelsea? I personally do not see the failed attempt to sign John Stones as a major disaster. Besides, the amount of money quoted is simply ridiculous! I understand the fee would involve compensating Everton and to pay up the remainder of his contract but to pay that amount for someone who wouldn't be a first team starter is insane.
Chelsea have enough options to play through the middle of the defence. As we know JT and Gary Cahill are the preferred combination but Kurt Zouma has done more than enough to push the two of them for a place.
If as predicted yesterday, Branislav Ivanovic loses his place to Cesar Azpilicueta with Baba Rahman coming in at left back, we have Ivanovic as another option in his more favoured position.
The new signing Papy Djilobodji looks like a player and at 26 he will also be pushing the likes of JT and Gary Cahill for a place so Chelsea are more than covered in those positions.
As with any failed attempt to sign someone, there is the fall-out that both clubs have to deal with. The disappointment from Chelsea's point of view is something they can easily move on from, to focus on who they have already and to work with them being much tighter at the back than we have been so far this season.
For Everton, the fall-out could prove to be costly and it will be interesting to see if Stones is selected to face Chelsea on Saturday and how he responds.
The main focus of the weekend is a much needed three points for Chelsea and not John Stones.