‘I love playing with Dias’ – Stones hails Manchester City teammate after return to form

The England international praised the man with whom he is currently building a solid partnership at the heart of citizens’ defense

John Stones praised Ruben Dias after his return to form at Manchester City, saying he loves playing alongside Portugal’s center-back.

Dias has had an immediate impact at City since his £ 62million ($ 84million) transfer to Etihad Stadium from Benfica ended in September. The 23-year-old has already made 20 appearances in all competitions for the Blues this season, scoring once with his last stellar result in the 2-0 home win over Newcastle on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola’s side currently have the best defensive record in the Premier League, and Stones have also played a key role in helping them rack up the clean sheets in recent months.

The 26-year-old has returned to City’s starting lineup after a frustrating 2019-2020 campaign, with Dias proving to be the perfect foil for the England international at the back.

Speaking ahead of the Blues’ trip to Everton on Monday night, Stones spoke of the partnership he has forged with the former Benfica star while stressing the importance of sharing offensive and defensive responsibilities with the entire squad.

When asked if he enjoyed working with Dias, Stones told the club’s official website: “Yeah, I love playing with him.

“We still have room to improve. Everyone has different qualities, which is great. Consistency is key and keeping the linens clean has been huge.

“I’ve said it a few times now, but keeping those sheets clean and having this platform for the guys to go and win the game is huge and that’s our job at the end of the day.

“I thought the other day it’s not all about us – it’s not all about defenders to get the sheets clean or that when someone scores it’s only on the guys who score.”

City will move up to points with Everton second with a game in hand if they secure a victory at Goodison Park. Guardiola will then start preparing his players for another top-notch fixture against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on January 3, with just one point separating the two sides in the table so far.