John Stones ready to step into Vincent Kompany’s shoes at Manchester City
By Blake Welton
Last Updated: 23/07/19 8:13am
John Stones says he is ready to fight for his Manchester City place and step into the "big shoes" left by Vincent Kompany's departure this summer.
The Belgian became an icon at the club after joining from Hamburg in 2008, winning four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups during his 11 year stay before leaving to become player-coach at Anderlecht.
Stones readily admits Kompany will be missed not only as a player and captain but also as a friend.
"There's some big shoes to fill - Vinnie (Kompany) set a benchmark at the club which I don't think can be done again," Stones said.
"He's such a good person and for anyone who becomes captain, if they do half the job he did then they will be able to call themselves successful.
"He was such a key player for us, and will be missed by everyone, especially me personally.
"But it's a great challenge for me and us all to step up and grab the bull by the horns and run with it now."
Although Stones lost his place in the City side at the start of 2019 and endured further frustration with a costly error in England's Nations League semi-final defeat to the Netherlands in June, he is ready to come back stronger this term.
"It was a difficult last two months of the season and the England game was a difficult night for me personally," admitted Stones.
"I let a lot of people down - the manager, players and nation and put my hands up and it's something I have to live with.
"But I'll come back fighting stronger and I'm not one to give up easily on something.
"I love the club [Manchester City] and everyone here and want to be the best player I can and striving to be where I want to be.
"If I keep working hard every day to improve like I am then I will hopefully get there."