Anthony Stokes has reportedly continued his footballing World Tour with a stop in Iran to play for Persepolis.
According to the Daily Mail, Stokes has signed a six-month contract with the Pro League side. This comes after he was released by Turkish second-tier outfit Adana Demispor.
Persepolis will also mark his fourth club since leaving Hibs for pastures new in 2018. Since then he’s played for Apollon Smymi of Greece, Tractor Sazi in Iran, and then Adana Demispor.
But his latest move will see his talent wasted. What is there for Stokesy to possibly achieve in Iran? Iranian football is hardly known to be a growing market.
Stokes was fairly successful for Tractor between 2018 and 2019, but you wouldn’t know it. He netted 13 goals in 24 appearances (Transfermarkt). Not much has been spoken about of Stokes’ success there in the world of football. It didn’t seem to attract any real suitors, and it’s not a market where he can go and show himself off to bigger clubs.
Stokes could easily do a job in British football
When at Celtic, Stokes’ technique was incredible. He was one of the most technically gifted signings Neil Lennon made in his first spell at the club. Some of the things he could do with the ball were a joy to see. That included sticking it in the net too, after bagging 76 goals in 192 appearances for the club (Transfermarkt).
There are so many clubs in the Scottish Premiership who could do with an Anthony Stokes right now. Hearts, for example, are absolutely itching for a new forward when you look through their squad. The same can be said of teams such as St Mirren, Kilmarnock, and even Motherwell.
So many teams in this country are lacking a plan B. You can’t say that Stokes isn’t good enough to make an impact with these sides. If he was at a St Mirren or Kilmarnock, he would be one of their biggest hopes.
Perhaps it’s the case that Stokesy would rather try and experience something different. He was a main man at both Hibs and Celtic, and may now feel he wants to try a different way of life.
But from a footballing perspective, Stokes settled far too early for the ability he has. When he went to Greece to play in the bottom half of the Super League at 29, eyebrows should’ve been raised then. He was better than that, and always has been.
Hopefully Stokesy is at the very least enjoying his football and looking forward to playing in Iran once again. However, if truth be told, not many will have him on their radar regardless of how well he does. For a player of his talent, you can’t help but feel he could do a lot better.