Manchester City defender John Stones may be one of the Premier League's most criticised defenders, but there is an intriguing stat that suggests a certain aspect of his game is on a par with the 2016 Ballon d'Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Stones became the most expensive English defender ever last summer where he joined City from Everton in a deal thought to be worth £47.5m.
Long touted as a one-day world class defender, the centre-back's ability on the ball was thought to be behind Pep Guardiola's thinking when opting to sign the former Goodison Park favourite.
Whilst playing the ball out from the back is all well and good, Stones has copped plenty of stick since moving to the Etihad for his defensive frailties, and has been part of a City defence that has been erratic at best.
Still, his supporters, of which Guardiola is one, will be delighted to see that a stat has been unfurled suggesting that parts of his game can match that of a top-class player.
John Stones has completed the same number of league take-ons this season (17) as Cristiano Ronaldo.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) 20 March 2017
Bringing the ball out from the back. pic.twitter.com/kMQa5UbKE7
Football website Squawka have announced that Stones has completed 17 successful take-ons in the league so far this season, the same number as Ronaldo at Real Madrid.
Coincidentally, Squawka have also confirmed that Stones has made four defensive errors this season, although they have not specified whether that has led to direct goals scored from the opposition.
@JoeCollings123 John Stones has made 4 defensive errors in 23 Premier League games this season.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) 20 March 2017
Still, that's just over four successful take-ons for every mistake, so if stats is your kind of thing, pull this one out of the hat the next time Stones is criticised.
He may not necessarily be able to stop Ronaldo from scoring, but he'll do a damn good job of taking the ball past the Portuguese international.