Anthony Stokes: Neil Lennon is huge factor in Hibs move

Anthony Stokes and Neil Lennon have worked together at Celtic. Pic: SNS
Anthony Stokes and Neil Lennon have worked together at Celtic. Pic: SNS
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Striker Anthony Stokes has revealed that the lure of playing under Neil Lennon again is why he’s set to sign a two-year deal with Hibs.

The 29-year-old flew in to Edinburgh this lunchtime to complete talks with the Easter Road club and, barring any last-gasp hitches, Hibs expect to complete the formalities and announce him officially in the next 24 hours.

Stokes played for Lennon at Celtic for four years and admitted the Hibs head coach can get the best out of him.

“He was a big part of it,” Stokes said. “He knows me well and got the best out of me when I was at Celtic so I’m hoping he can do the same this time around.

The Republic of Ireland international was released by Blackburn Rovers last month after an ill-fated spell with the Lancashire club. He has not played competitively since April 14, but said that his fitness is fine and that he can’t wait to get back into first-team action.

“I haven’t played in a while so I just need to get back at it and get as fit as I can as quickly as possible,” Stokes told STV.

“I’ve been doing my own thing, maybe I’m missing a bit of sharpness but my fitness is fine.

“It’s just match sharpness and getting a touch of the ball again.”

Stokes’ return will be welcomed by the Hibs faithful. His last act in a Hibs shirt was to score two goals as they defeated Rangers in the Scottish Cup final to win the trophy for the first time in 114 years and will add experience and proven goalscoring prowess at Premiership level.

The former Sunderland, Falkirk and Celtic player will be joining Hibs for a third time in his career. He joined them in 2009 under John Hughes before moving west to Glasgow. He then rejoined Hibs under Alan Stubbs for a six-month loan in 2016, scoring nine goals in total.