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11th Jun 2017

John Stones explains why will wear a new number next season

24 no more

Darragh Murphy

John Stones is parting ways with his No. 24 shirt at Manchester City.

The City defender had 24 on his back throughout his debut season at the Etihad, after moving from Everton last summer.

But Stones has welcomed the chance to take the vacant No. 5 shirt at City now that Pablo Zabaleta has left the club.

Stones previously wore No. 26 at Everton before Johnny Heitinga vacated the No. 5 by moving to Fulham and Stones then took over from the Toffees legend.

He is set to do the same at City, having run it by Zabaleta to make sure he’s OK with having Stones take on the daunting task of following the Argentine’s spell in the No. 5 shirt.

“It’s been worn by some great players and not only at City but throughout the world,” Stones said, via Manchester Evening News.

“I spoke to Zaba before I took the shirt and just wanted to say that I’d been offered it and wanted to take it forward and I just thought it was the right thing to do.

“He’s had the shirt for such a long time and we shared a few jokes about hopefully winning some silverware wearing that number and I think it was the right thing to do to ask him.

“There’s that bit of respect and justice to the shirt, I suppose.”