It’s two years since the striker’s Hibs days came to an abrupt end following some high jinks at the club’s Spanish training camp during the winter break. Neil Lennon replaced the initially productive partnership between Stokes and Simon Murray with Florian Kamberi and James Maclaren in mid-season.
Stokes, pictured, went off on his travels, first to Cyprus and then, intriguingly, Iran, where, by all accounts, he did well for Tractor. One of the less serious ramifications of Trump’s decision to assassinate Iran general Qassem Suleimani could well be nixing the possibility of the currently club-less Stokes returning to the country, where Tehran-based Esteghlal were reportedly willing to offer him an 18-month contract. Personal troubles helped prompt his original departure.
Still only 31 and having now added a Turkish second-tier side to his CV, it does seem a waste to watch Stokes bump around the world in search of a permanent home. There are Scottish clubs currently crying out for a striker. Hearts, of course, not least among them.