Falkirk seal Stokes swoop
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Falkirk have completed the loan signing of highly-rated Arsenal striker Anthony Stokes.
SPL side Falkirk have completed the loan signing of highly-rated Arsenal striker Anthony Stokes.
The Republic of Ireland youth international will be joining John Hughes' side until January after also attracting interest from Sunderland and Colchester United over the summer.
Despite being just 18 years of age Stokes appeared in Dennis Bergkamp's testimonial in what was the first ever game played at The Emirates Stadium, and The Gunners have high hopes for the versatile forward.
The promise of first team football has seen him move to Falkirk, where he will link up with compatriots and former Arsenal trainees Stephen O'Donnell and Patrick Cregg.
Falkirk managing director George Craig expressed the club's delight at landing the promising forward from the Premiership side.
"Anthony Stokes is one of the hottest properties to have graduated from the English academy programme," said Craig.
"He is extremely highly rated by his club and the Republic of Ireland.
"It may have seemed a long time coming to sign a striker but we always maintained that we would not make knee-jerk reactions or simply make a signing on the basis that a player in question had a profile.
"We believe at Falkirk it is important that any player who joins the club has the qualities we look for to assist us to achieve our ambition."
Stokes has joined a number of young Gunners in moving away from The Emirates Stadium on loan over the summer, with Fabrice Muamba, Nicklas Bendtner, Sebastian Larsson, Arturo Lupoli, Vito Mannone, Kerrea Gilbert and Carlos Vela all furthering their experience with other clubs.