Everton sign John Stones from Barnsley on transfer deadline day

Everton beat host of Premier League rivals to signature of Barnsley defender Stones

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

22:35 GMT, 31 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:03 GMT, 1 February 2013

Everton have signed defender John Stones from Barnsley on a five-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

Sportsmail revealed last month that relegation-threatened Wigan had joined Chelsea, Aston Villa Sunderland, Manchester City and Everton in the race for the 3million-rated prospect.

Stones is one of the most coveted young defenders in the country and is a real coup for manager David Moyes.

On the move: John Stones (left) has left Barnsley for Goodison Park

On the move: John Stones (left) has left Barnsley for Goodison Park

He told Everton's official website: 'I am very excited to be joining Everton. I've been very impressed with everything I have seen at Finch Farm already. Now the hard work begins.'

The 6ft 2in England Under 19 international made his Tykes debut last March after progressing through the youth ranks at Oakwell.

He featured 28 times for the npower Championship club, netting his first goal in the 4-3 Capital One Cup triumph over Rochdale in August.

In demand: Stones had attracted the attention of several big clubs

In demand: Stones had attracted the attention of several big clubs

Stones added: 'I would like to take this opportunity of thanking everybody at Barnsley for helping me in my development.

'They include Ronnie Branson and all the academy staff; Keith Hill and David Flitcroft for giving me the chance to play first-team football. Also all the backroom staff such as Guy Proctor, John Lucas and Craig Sedgwick.

'They are just some of the people who I owe a debt of gratitude to and I wish Barnsley every success for the future.'