Bayer Leverkusen star Edmond Tapsoba has revealed a surprising role model in Manchester City defender John Stones.
Tapsoba joined the Bundesliga side in a £16.2m deal in January, arriving from Vitória Guimarães in Portugal, where had been playing since 2017 after a move from Salitas Football School in Burkina Faso.
He’s proven to be a big hit at the club since, establishing himself as a key player under Pete Bosz and playing a big role in their ascent to the top of the league.
Indeed, he is highly-rated at the club, who recently signed him up to a new deal until 2026 to ward of any interested parties.
That would come as a result of Tapsoba being a very modern centre-back, one who is not only comfortable on the ball but an extremely competent passer as well.
That’s a style he’s apparently adopted from watching English football, with Manchester City’s John Stones a particular favourite of his.
“Since SALITAS, I was inspired by John Stones who was in Everton and now in Manchester City,” Afrique Sports report him saying.
“Currently, Van Dijk is one of the best defenders in the world. But, I like the way Stones plays, so that’s what I take inspiration from.”
Plenty are sure to scoff at Tapsoba’s claims given Stones has hardly shone at the Etihad since arriving from Everton.
It’s easy to forget, though, that a few years ago he was being touted for big things, with his comfort on the ball playing out from the back earning numerous plaudits.
That is seemingly something Tapsoba picked up on and is now benefitting from, although whether he earns a similarly big move remains to be seen.