Michael Owen is jumping the gun a bit with his view of John Stones

He says the England and Everton defender could walk into the Barcelona squad

Michael Owen,

Michael Owen Picture by: Richard Sellers / EMPICS Sport

It's fair to say John Stones' second half of the past Premier League season was testing to say the least.

There was plenty of scrutiny put on him due to high profile errors with Everton when his youth and inexperience showed as he tried to dribble his way out of defence rather than taking safer balls out.

But there is no denying the potential of the England centre-back when he gains more experience and learns when it's the correct time to right to play out of trouble.

At least he is extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet and as John Giles once said of his potential - and it must be emphasised that it was in reference to potential rather than current ability - Stones could become one of the best English defenders of the current and recent generations.

That is if he can allay defensive nous with his ability on the ball when starting attacks from the back.

But ex-England striker Michael Owen seems to be jumping the gun a bit with his latest pronouncement on the BBC.

"This kid could play for Barcelona, he’s probably the only player in the England squad who could walk into Barcelona’s team at the moment," he said.

While the ex-striker turned pundit may well have been referring to potential as much current ability, his phrasing of "at the moment" suggests here and now.

To be frank, Stones is not at the level to be walking into a Barcelona team right now, although Owen is right when he says that "[Stones] will make the odd mistake but so will everyone – everyone just goes on and on and on about mistakes."

Indeed, at 22, the centre-back is still at least 6-7 years off the peak age for a defender.