John Stones insists he doesn’t feel any extra pressure after becoming the world’s second-most expensive defender when he joined Manchester City in the summer.
City paid £47.5 million to bring in the England international from Everton in a deal, which also made him England’s second-most expensive player ever after teammate Raheem Sterling.
Certainly the huge transfer fee doesn’t seem to have impacted on his game with the 22-year-old quickly settling into a City side that has won seven out of seven games.
Stones says he doesn’t give much consideration to his price-tag and is simply interested in trying to justify his place in the City starting lineup.
“It doesn’t bring any pressure to me, it’s not down to the player,” he said ahead of Saturday’s game with Bournemouth at the Etihad.
“I feel privileged to have been bought for that amount of money but at the end of the day it’s what the two clubs agreed. I can’t do anything about that other than thank Man City for allowing me this opportunity and Everton for all that they did for me and allowing me to further my career. It’s as simple as that.
“Knowing what you’re doing day in day out and trying to keep improving is all you can do really.”
Stones looks more than comfortable in a Pep Guardiola side intent on dominating possession and defending a high line.
He made more passes than any player on the pitch in City’s 4-0 Champions League victory over Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday night.
That didn’t stop Guardiola gesticulating and offering him advice from the sidelines but Stones says he loves playing under the Spaniard.
“It’s been amazing. From the first day, not only him but his staff and all the boys, training and playing games and learning everything every day,” he said.
“There’s a lot to take in in the first week with a new environment but it’s the little things that take a while to sink in and get your head around.
“But when you’re on the training pitch and working you’re at ease and trying to take everything into the games to try and win them. That’s what every player wants to do.
“[Pep’s] talking to me about the opposition, how they’re playing. I suppose it’s easier for me to run over than a midfielder or a striker and I can then tell everyone from there. It’s just little details in games that are good to pass on.
“It’s all about how we can beat the opposition and that’s what they’re trying to do to us as well. Little formation changes or how we can beat a certain system.”
Stones, who signed a six-year deal with the club, already has plans on sticking around at the Etihad for a long-time and being successful.
“I’d like to be captain one day. Every player wants to be captain of their team and to do so for years to come,” he added.
“It’s a privileged position to be in to captain your club and country. These are dreams you dream about when you’re a little boy.
“You have to deserve the right to be captain but I’d love to be one day and I’ll keep working hard to try to be.”