John Stones likened to Rio Ferdinand as talkSPORT hosts get in heated debate after Jamie O’Hara labels him ‘better’ than Manchester United target Raphael Varane

John Stones or Raphael Varane? Well, this debate nearly caused things to kick off in the talkSPORT studios on Friday.

Drivetime host Andy Goldstein couldn’t believe his ears when Jamie O’Hara said England star Stones is better than World Cup winner Varane.

Who would you rather have in your team? Stones or Varane?

Man City defender Stones improved hugely last season and was a star for the Three Lions as they reached the final of Euro 2020.

Varane didn’t have such a good Euro 2020 as France suffered a shock last-16 exit but the 28-year-old has had a fine career to date.

The Real Madrid man has been linked with a move to Manchester United this summer but O’Hara doesn’t think it would be as much as a coup as many think.

But how do the pair’s stats from last season compare? You can also watch Jamie and Andy’s heated debate on Stones and Varane above.

Stones vs Varane

Stats per 90 minutes in the 2020/21 league season

John Stones

Tackles: 0.93

Percentage of dribblers tackled: 50

Dribbled past: 0.33

Blocks: 1.44

Interceptions: 0.93

Clearances: 3.58


Raphael Varane

Tackles: 0.83

Percentage of dribblers tackled: 57.1

Dribbled past: 0.3

Blocks: 1.39

Interceptions: 1.19

Clearances: 4.83

Later in the show Jamie likened Stones to ex-Man United and England star Rio Ferdinand.

“I love John Stones, I’ve always liked him. He’s a brilliant football player,” he added.

“He’s the closest thing we’ve had to Rio Ferdinand, who along with John Terry, was the best centre-half in the Premier League.

“I love watching John Stones, I enjoy watching the way he plays. He’s calm, he’s composed but also a brilliant defender.

Stones was a player reborn last season but Jamie has always been a fan
Getty Images

“Last season you had Ruben Dias alongside him which turned him into an even better defender because he had someone with him.

“I think with Varane he’s going to have that with Maguire but in my opinion I’d rather have John Stones in my team.

“I think with Varane he’s going to have that with Maguire but in my opinion I’d rather have John Stones in my team.”

“If Varane’s that good, why is he leaving Real Madrid at 28 years old? Why not give him a new deal? If they thought he was that brilliant they wouldn’t be letting him leave. Manchester City aren’t letting John Stones leave…”

It would be interesting to see Varane in the Premier League to settle the debate once and for all
Getty Images – Getty