Stones has showed no ill-effects in his performances this season, despite the interest from Chelsea.
Johnson is eager for his youthful side – just one player who lined up against Bradford City on Saturday was aged over 25 – to showcase their talents in front of a big TV audience.
Despite the ongoing saga, Everton boss Roberto Martinez opted to name Stones in his starting XI for the second round tie at Oakwell.
And although Everton are understandably firm favourites to triumph, Johnson believes his team can spring a surprise if they play to their potential. Not that Martínez is blessed with alternatives in central defence.
Ross Barkley and John Stones, both 21 and fully fledged England internationals, have completed 90 minutes in all three of Everton’s fixtures so far, while 19-year-old Brendan Galloway has been afforded three starts from left back in the absence of Leighton Baines.
Having finished comfortably in mid-table last season following relegation to the third tier, Lee Johnson’s Barnsley have promotion firmly in their sights. The Tykes last win over Everton came back in 1951. Stones failed to clear at the first attempt, Jagielka and Matthew Pennington, making his full Everton debut at right-back, got in each other’s way when trying to deal with the second ball and it broke loose for the Barnsley centre-forward.
Oakwell’s delirium increased with Barnsley’s next attack.
Stones had switched off and allowed Watkins to score his first goal for Barnsley since arriving on a free transfer from Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Deulofeu was then thwarted by Davies, but the former Barcelona winger crafted a leveller in the 59th minute as his fine right-wing delivery was met by Naismith, whose powerful near-post header flew past the Barnsley goalkeeper.
However, Barnsley regained the lead straight away as Reece Wabara set up Daniel Crowley, and he crisply found the bottom corner.
Another former Red – Mason Holgate – was on the bench for Everton.