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"True Evertonian" John Stones "didn't mean" to hand in transfer request

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Roberto "phenomenal" Martinez is not one to hold back when praising his players, even if it makes him sound faintly ridiculous, and that trend has continued with John Stones.

Martinez has been quick to praises the 21-year-old for the way he has handled the recent transfer saga surrounding him, with the defender continuing to perform on the pitch.

After three unsuccessful bids earlier in the summer Stones appeared to take matters into his own hands by submitting a transfer request, only to see it rejected out of hand by chairman Bill Kenwright last Thursday.

Despite the rejected transfer request Stones performed well against Tottenham on Saturday, with his manager quick to praise him after the game while also suggesting his transfer request was some kind of accident, saying:

"He's such a professional. I had other situations where I had players who couldn't cope and couldn't play.

"I had windows where I had to leave players out completely and when the window closed get him back in the team and what that represents – winning his team-mates over and the fans over.

"With John, it's very easy because he's a pristine professional. Obviously he's been put under massive, massive pressure. The transfer request was something he didn't mean to do."

In all seriousness, I think what Martinez was trying to say was that he feels Stones was somehow coerced into handing in the transfer request, perhaps under pressure from outside influences, be it his agent or representatives from Chelsea.

There has been intense pressure on Stones throughout the summer and with Everton continuing to hold firm and so it is little surprise that he has been put under pressure to try and take matters into his own hands.

When asked about Stones' reaction to the rejected request, Martinez added:

"No, no, no. We haven't spoken about that. All we've been speaking about is the game and what we need to do. He's been a leader in that.

"He knows the fans will be with him, he knows the fans will understand what's happened.

"The way he has always been performing – he's always been a top professional, never letting the team down or the football club down. He is a true Evertonian."