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Stones steps into the shoes of Man City cult hero Zabaleta by inheriting number five shirt logo 30-05-2017

With Pablo Zabaleta having left Manchester City as a free agent, his number five jersey has been passed to John Stones.

Zabaleta, a cult hero at the Etihad Stadium, has moved on to West Ham after reaching the end of his contract.

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Pep Guardiola is looking to freshen up his ageing ranks, with 23-year-old Stones very much part of a long-term project.

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He is yet to justify a £47.5 million price tag, with accusations still levelled at him of over-playing, but the England international will be hoping a change in number brings with it a reversal in fortune.

Johnny 5! A new number for @johnstonesofficial! #mcfc #mancity #manchestercity

A post shared by Manchester City (@mancity) on May 30, 2017 at 12:48pm PDT

Stones was handed the number 24 jersey upon his arrival at City from Everton.

He made 41 appearances over the course of his debut campaign, scoring two goals.

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City, though, were to end the season empty-handed, with Champions League qualification through a third-place finish in the Premier League their only consolation.

Both the club and Stones will be hoping to kick-on in 2017-18, with Guardiola having already opened what is expected to be an elaborate spending spree by snapping up £43m midfielder Bernardo Silva and closing in on a £35m deal for Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson.

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