Anthony Stokes completes Hibernian loan move
Out of favour Celtic striker joins Championship Hibs until the end of the season
Anthony Stokes has joined Hibernian on loan until the end of the season. Photograph: Getty
The 27 year-old, who has played just twice for the SPL leaders since the start of the season, returns to the club where he scored 24 times in 48 games during the 2009/10 season.
He had several good seasons for Celtic after moving but has fallen out of favour under Ronny Deila with some disciplinary problems contributing to his difficulties. His contract with the club runs until the summer of 2017, however, and the manager has suggested that he wants the Dubliner to return after the loan period with some first team football under his belt.
Whether that happens may depend to a large extent on whether he rediscovers his form during the coming months at Easter Road and Hibernian manage to get promoted back to the top flight, something that might offer him an attractive alternative to life on the margins back in Glasgow.
His standing would also be helped by making Martin O’Neill’s squad the for European championships in France, something he has said is a target, although, having failed to feature for his country since the game against the USA more than a year ago, it is unclear whether even a strong run of form in the Scottish Championship would be enough to persuade the Ireland manager of his worth at this stage.
Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs is clearly pleased, however, about his arrival and his willingness to drop down a division in order to return to his former club.
“We had a chat yesterday,” he said, “and I think from that chat, it was very evident that we got on well together. He wanted to come here, he wanted to come and play under me. I didn’t need to sell him the club. He’ll want to do what he’s good at and that’s scoring goals and playing well and being part of what we want to do here.”