Anthony Stokes continues journey around the world with move to middle east 2 years ago

Anthony Stokes continues journey around the world with move to middle east

Anthony Stokes is on the road again.

The former Celtic, Blackburn, Arsenal and Sunderland striker has been a without a club ever since he left Greek outfit Apollon Smyrni back in April.

The former Republic of Ireland front man joined the Greek side as a free agent in February, just two weeks after he had his contract with Hibs terminated due to disciplinary reasons.

From Greece he's headed to Iran.  Stokes has put pen to paper on a 'lucrative' deal with  Iranian side Tractor Sazi, who are managed by Liverpool legend John Toshack.

He only played four games for Apollon and had his contract terminated after he reportedly failed to turn up to training, without registering a goal for the club.

Indeed these disciplinary issues have sadly become the story of Stokes' unfulfilling career. Once the hottest ticket in Irish football, he stood out for both Cherry Orchard and Shelbourne in the Irish youth ranks. He was turning plenty of heads across the water and Arsenal were delighted to snap the 15-year-old up ahead of the posse in 2005.

He progressed quickly in his new surroundings, breaking in to the Gunners' reserve team shortly after his arrival.

As is the case with the majority of youngsters in such big clubs, Stokes' next few years would involve loan moves aplenty. He shot the lights out in the first of those with Scottish side Falkirk, becoming the first player to score successive hat tricks in SPL games.


A move to Sunderland when Roy Keane was manager didn't work out, but Stokes followed that up with productive spells at Hibernian and Celtic. He joined Blackburn Rovers on a two-year deal in June 2016, but had his contract terminated a year later.

From there, it's been all downhill.

Neil Lennon had a soft spot for the player at Hibs, but in the end he too was turned off by the Irish man's inability to keep himself on the strait and narrow.

His patience wore thin and that was how Stokes ended up in Greece.

Last week, he had been linked with a return to the League of Ireland with Shamrock Rovers reportedly in the hunt for his signature. Alan Stubbs' St Mirren were also interested.

For now, however, he's in the middle east alongside former Rangers man Harry Forrester.