The Spaniard is confident the former Everton defender can become one of the best in the world.

John Stones has had his fair share of injuries in his Manchester City tenure since joining the Citizens for £47.5million from Everton back in 2016. The 25-year old England international has been restricted to only 12 appearances this season under Pep Guardiola, owing to his injuries.

Guardiola, who believes a lot in the defender, clearly states that Stones is yet to reach his potential and consistent injuries are not helping his cause. As per Sky Sports, the Spaniard suggests him to stay fit for a long period to reach his full potential.

Stones, who is in contention to start against Port Vale in City’s FA Cup clash, last featured in 1-2 defeat against Manchester United. Consistent injury problems have restricted the English defender to feature in consecutive five games in a year.

Despite featuring in 121 matches for the Citizens ever since joining the club back in 2016 from Everton, Guardiola believes Stones can offer a lot more to his side if he keeps himself fit and plays consistently.

“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 Spaniard.

“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 Aymeric (Laporte) had this season or (Ilkay) Gundogan in the first, or (Benjamin) Mendy the year he arrived – it’s unlucky.”

Manchester City have felt Stones’ absence this season as they have struggled defensively. With Vincent Kompany departing the club and Aymeric Laporte out with injury, Pep needed the 25-year old to lead the backline. However the former Everton defender had problems of his own. Yet, Pep Guardiola feels that he needs to believe in himself as he can become one of the best in the world.

“In the case of John, I don’t know why he has not been able to play regularly”, Guardiola continued.

“We try to help him and 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.”

We may finally see the English defender taking the field for City against Port Vale in their FA Cup clash, a match where Stones may come across in-form forward Tom Pope.

Pope took a dig at the City defender and tweeted about him being weak and how he would have scored 40 goals a season if he faced Stones week in week out. However later after the draw he reciprocated the controversial tweet by saying, “Stones is one of the best centre halves in the world.”