“With all due respect to Everton, he has got to get to a [higher] level with City because people don’t realise that Pep does focus a lot on defending, not just wining the ball back.
“Gerard Pique was a little similar [to Stones] at Manchester United until he went to Barcelona. Then he became a good defender as well as a great attribute for Barcelona in possession. So he had both. That’s why he stayed there for so long.”
Allardyce also made it clear Wayne Rooney remains firmly in his plans both as a player and as captain, although he will confirm the latter early next week after naming his first squad on Sunday.
After starting last season as a striker and finishing it as a midfield player, Rooney is now playing for Manchester United in the No10 role, just behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and that is where Allardyce sees as his best position.
“He’s England captain, he’s the most successful England player for the last decade, he’s broken every record at level so, yes, we should talk very much about Wayne and about how good he is, what a fantastic player he is and what a really, really good captain he is,” said Allardyce.