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Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 31 March, 2020

Stokes drops down a division to join Hibs on loan

The 27-year-old will return to Easter Road after a spell at the club in 2009/10.

Image: Jeff Holmes

IRELAND STRIKER ANTHONY Stokes has re-joined Scottish Championship side Hibernian on loan until the end of the season.

The 27-year-old has played just 106 minutes of first-team football for Celtic this season and will drop down a league to link up with boss Alan Stubbs at Easter Road.

Stokes had been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons this season, the most notable incident being a Twitter outburst that earned him a two-week suspension last month.

Stubbs was delighted to secure the deal after seeing off competition from a number of top-tier Scottish clubs, including Dundee United and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

“Anthony is a fantastic footballer and will really strengthen the squad,” he told the club’s website.

“We have a number of options in attack and real competition for places which is what every manager wants.

“We are excited about Anthony coming here and I think he will prove to be a real asset.”

Stokes joined Celtic from Hibernian in 2010 and scored 24 goals in 47 appearances during his last spell at Easter Road.

Hibernian are third in the Scottish second tier on 45 points, five behind leaders Rangers and they only trail Falkirk on goal difference.

The club will be hoping that Stokes plays a key role in their bid to earn promotion to the top division this season.

Stokes, who has nine international caps, will also be hoping to play himself into Martin O’Neill’s plans before he selects his squad for the European Championships in France later this year.

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