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The "Insert Team" are chasing John Stones story parade is underway

Here we go again.

Paul Thomas

Such is the nature of being Everton that if the club develops a talented young player, the media begins trying to auction him off to "bigger" clubs that are surely dying for his services. The latest player to become the focus of such speculation is defender John Stones, potentially one of the best English defensive prospects at the moment.

Phil Jagielka's injury forced Stones onto the big stage faster than Roberto Martinez would have likely wanted, but there's no question the 19-year-old has grasped the opportunity and ran with it. Sure he hasn't been perfect, but it's not like Everton are winning games and earning clean sheets despite Stones' play.

It's that positive play, his rapid development, that has lead to the Daily Mail tossing out this pile of nonsense linking Stones to both Chelsea and Arsenal. It's the same drivel we're all used to, the same drivel that's going to be building around Ross Barkley in the coming months, but it's also part of the deal when supporting Everton.

To an extent, we're a selling club. Certainly not to the level that some teams are, but there's little doubt that to build and grow, sometimes stars must be sold at a profit to ensure that the bigger roster needs can be properly met. It sucks, but that's life.

Hence, our young talent becomes targets for ridiculous, cheap attempts to drive traffic.