• Everton defender John Stones handed in a transfer request just days ago
  • England youngster Stones is being by courted by league rivals Chelsea 
  • But Stones put in a mature performance against Tottenham on Saturday
  • Roberto Martinez claims it shows he has a strong strength of character 
  • It’s not too late to play MailOnline’s Fantasy Football game! 

Bob Treasure for the Daily Mail

As ‘money can’t buy you Stones’ and ‘£40m? You’re having a laugh’ rang out simultaneously at White Hart Lane, the country’s most coveted defender quietly got on with his business and all but marked Harry Kane out of the game.

John Stones has been the subject of a big-money bid by Chelsea and been called a rat by his own fans in the last week, but his assured performance against Harry Kane on Saturday night hinted at a strength of character that belies his age.

Roberto Martinez hailed the 21-year-old’s maturity and professionalism after his side’s draw — even tipping him as a future England captain. And despite his submission of a transfer request last week, the Spaniard insists Stones is 100 per cent committed to Everton.

John Stones has been the subject of a big-money raid by Chelsea and has been called a rat by his own fans

John Stones has been the subject of a big-money raid by Chelsea and has been called a rat by his own fans

Stones handed in a transfer request earlier this week but put in an impressive performance against Tottenham

Stones handed in a transfer request earlier this week but put in an impressive performance against Tottenham

‘He is well aware of the situation he has been put under. It’s been very difficult for everyone, especially for him,’ Martinez said. ‘Probably the only place he has found a little bit of freedom has been when he is out on the pitch playing football.

‘He knows the fans will be with him, he knows the fans will understand what’s happened but the way he has always been performing and always been a top professional, never letting the team down or the club down… he is a true Evertonian.

‘With young players you always get to know their characters quite quickly and John is one of those responsible guys who can lead people.

‘When he was very young and in the first-team group, he would take information on board and he would be the one who wanted to know about everything. He wanted to know about the team, he is not just happy with knowing what his role is. He likes the responsibilities.

Stone keeps an eye on Tottenham striker Harry Kane as he looks to fire for the north London side on Saturday

Stone keeps an eye on Tottenham striker Harry Kane as he looks to fire for the north London side on Saturday

Roberto Martinez hailed Stones' maturity and professionalism after his side’s draw against Tottenham

Roberto Martinez hailed Stones’ maturity and professionalism after his side’s draw against Tottenham

MATCH FACTS 

SUPER STAT: Harry Kane has now scored just two goals from 28 shots in his last 12 Premier League appearances. In his previous 12 top-flight matches, he netted 14 goals from 33 shots.

TOTTENHAM (4-2-3-1): Lloris 7; Walker 6, Alderweireld 7, Vertonghen 7, Rose 6; Dier 6.5, Bentaleb 6; Dembele 6.5 (Alli 53min, 6), Mason 6.5 (Pritchard 85), Chadli 6.5; Kane 6.5. 

SUBS NOT USED: Vorm, Lamela, Trippier, Pritchard, Carroll, Davies.

EVERTON (4-2-3-1): Howard 7.5, Coleman 7, Jagielka 6.5, Stones 7, Oviedo 6.5; McCarthy 6.5, Barry 7; Kone 6 (Deulofeu 84), Barkley 7, Cleverley 6 (Mirallas 45, 6); Lukaku 6 (Naismith 69, 6.5)

SUBS NOT USED: Robles, Besic, Browning, Pennington

Man of the match: Tim Howard.

REFEREE: Mike Jones 6.

‘You saw a 21-year-old deal with that pressure and play in that manner. For me it shows he has potential to be England captain.’

In their refusal to cave to the demands of one of the division’s big guns, Everton signalled their intent to challenge the teams at the business end of the Premier League table.

And while Martinez is confident a clear line has been drawn under the Stones saga, his frustration at the logistics of the summer transfer window is clear.

‘The window makes it very difficult, I have said it before many times but I have never been taken seriously,’ Martinez said. ‘The window being open when official games are being played just doesn’t work.

‘I feel it is disrespectful to the institutions and it’s disrespectful to the fans, who pay a lot of money to watch football and they should be concentrating on whether their team wins or not. It should not be about how we are going to keep these players, are the rumours true? It’s important that the football authorities look into this and do something.

‘We are going to take extra measures in every window from now on to protect players and help them through because it is all becoming too much.’

Tottenham’s Eric Dier, who played in midfield, played down the pressure on Kane who failed to score again and said: ‘I don’t think anyone should be worried. I don’t think Harry should be worried. I am sure once he gets that first goal, he will score loads. We defended well and got a clean sheet which is important.’ 

Tottenham's Eric Dier claims he is not worried about striker Kane's lack of goals so far this season

Tottenham’s Eric Dier claims he is not worried about striker Kane’s lack of goals so far this season

Kane was marked out of the game by Stones and has failed to fire for Tottenham since the season restarted 

Kane was marked out of the game by Stones and has failed to fire for Tottenham since the season restarted 

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