Everton defender John Stones "won't be fazed" by moving to Chelsea if he goes, says his former youth-team coach.
The England international, 21, has been the subject of a number of bids by the Premier League champions and on Tuesday handed in a transfer request.
Stones has developed into a key player for the Toffees since his £3m move from Barnsley in 2013.
"He's a real defender," Barnsley academy coach Ronnie Branson told BBC World Service.
"There is a lot of talk at the moment about whether he is a good defender. We all know he can step in and get the ball and set attacks off but can he defend? Yes he can. He has a steeliness that people don't realise."
|BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty:|
|Everton have yet to make any official response on whether they have received - let alone rejected - the transfer request from defender John Stones as he tries to push through a move to Chelsea. Take it as read, though, that the request has been made.|
|Everton - who are believed to be keeping quiet until after Wednesday's League Cup tie with Barnsley - will surely reject the request because to do otherwise accepts Stones will leave and hand control of the situation to Chelsea.|
Stones, who made 23 Premier League appearances last season and has four senior England caps, still has four years to run on his current Everton deal and Toffees boss Roberto Martinez has said he will not be sold this summer.
However, he has been viewed as John Terry's long-term replacement in Chelsea's defence, and Branson, who coached Stones from the age of eight, added: "He's done well at Everton and got into the England first team.
"Every step he's taken, he's managed it well, so going there won't faze him."