ANTHONY STOKES has left Livingston by mutual consent just three weeks after signing. The former Celtic attacker approached the club with an option to terminate after failing to adapt to their plastic surface.
Stokes was struggling to adapt to the surface in place at the Tony Macaroni Arena and now he will be free to pursue other options. The former Celtic and Hibs man appeared to be an incredible acquisition for Livi, such is his pedigree in the Premiership; however, the deal has been terminated as confirmed in a post on their website, quoting Head of Football Operations David Martindale.
“Stokesy has been in training for approximately 4 weeks now and it’s fair to say that we both knew that there was going to be a lot of work to be done to get Anthony into top shape to play Premiership football.
“In all honesty, it’s not quite worked out in terms of the on-field ball work and intense training schedule we had put in place. He is struggling to adapt to training 2-3 hours per day on the Astro Turf surface – we all know it doesn’t and won’t suit everyone. Of course, Anthony knew the surface we had in place but each player adapts to that differently and you can’t know how your body will feel adapting to it until you’ve been out there and played or trained on it frequently. We know it isn’t for everyone and sadly, that’s been the case for Anthony.”
“Whilst trying to get the player in shape, it’s been extremely frustrating for all of us, staff and player alike, that we can’t seem to get the intense training needed into the player.
“To be fair to Anthony, he has noticed this himself and he approached us with the option to terminate. This allows both the player and the club to explore other opportunities.”
Stokes refused to return to Iran due to the Coronavirus pandemic in February but his agent managed to get him out of his contract early from the Tehran club. Livi swooped to bring him in to replace Lyndon Dykes but like his move to Iran, he did not see out his contract.
His off-field antics often shadowed his talent and after a nomadic few years ranging from Turkey, Greece and Iran, Stokes can settle with Livi. Stokes has over 130 goals in Scottish football and appeared to be a good acquisition by the West Lothian side