Roy Hodgson has indicated he intends to take John Stones to Euro 2016 but says he must force his way back into the Everton side.
Stones has started just one of Everton’s last four Premier League games and didn’t feature in England’s 3-2 win in Germany, with Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling selected ahead of him.
The 21-year-old was regarded as one of England’s brightest prospects earlier in the campaign and manager Hodgson insists the defender remains a key part of his plans in the long-term.
Hodgson plans to give Stones some time on the pitch on Tuesday when the Three Lions face the Netherlands and the centre-half is expected to travel to France for Euro 2016, but the England boss has suggested he may not be a starter this summer if he cannot reclaim his Everton spot.
“We believe in John Stones, there is no question of that,Â” Hodgson said.
“He will get a chance on Tuesday to show what he can do, we believe he is the type of centre-half who could be very, very good for England going forward, but it is up to him.
“First of all he has got to play well enough to break into his club side and there is nothing I can do about that.
“Then he has got to make certain he is so good with us that we would consider moving the two we had and continue not to use Phil Jagielka because he is one of four centre-backs.”
Stones was a target for Chelsea last summer and has also been linked with the likes of Barcelona but those rumours have dried up of late.
The defender has come in for criticism at times but Hodgson was quick to point out Stones is still developing and he has no concerns over his ability.
He added: “All I can do is give him encouragement and make sure he knows how much we believe in him and how much we think he is a very, very talented player.
“He does have the potential to have a fantastic England career, I will give him the chance on Tuesday and he needs to prove that.
“Not so long ago he was being touted around as not only the best centre-back in the county but a centre-back all the top teams would have.
“He was being touted for the reason because people said how comfortable he was on the ball, how composed he is, how good he is when he brings the ball out.
“Then a couple of games go and he makes a couple of mistakes and we want to throw that back on his head.”