David Moyes thinks John Stones will "play for England for a long time". The 21-year-old defender was signed by the former Everton manager in January 2013 and the 52-year-old Scot has been impressed with the rapid progress the player has made under his successor, Roberto Martinez.
Stones has become one of Martinez's most reliable players since taking charge and has already established himself as part of Roy Hodgson's England squad. Moyes thinks it is Stones's ability to pass the ball out of defence that has seen him become one of the most sought-after players in the Premier League.
"This boy's coming on like nobody," Moyes told Sky Sports. "He's coming on with great quality and great ability on the ball. He's playing with really good defenders and that's what's surprising me a bit about Everton.
"Players like Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka... he's in with some really good players who know how to defend well, but John is different, he's very comfortable on the ball, which gives the side a good starting point. They like to start games from the back, but John will go on to big things, I've no doubt about that."
Stones, who was strongly linked with a move to Chelsea over the summer of 2015, has come in for criticism for sometimes overplaying at the back but Moyes thinks he is improving at a rapid rate. "He's improved his overall defending, he's got a natural ability to take the ball which is not something that's coached. He's reading the game much better," he said.
"There are one or two occasions when part of being a defender is putting your foot through the ball. He did brilliantly to make himself a bit of space to clear the ball [when] there wasn't a pass on for him [against Tottenham]. That's John... he'll develop and he's made one or two mistakes which have cost him, but obviously he's going to go on and play for England for a long time."