A FIT and behaving Anthony Stokes is worth his weight in goals to any club, and Celtic are aware he has a value.

But, while no one could do anything about the striker being injured for half a season, the problems he has encountered off the field were avoidable.

Celtic will have to be completely convinced he can be trusted to steer clear of trouble in the future before they will elect to keep him on their pay roll for a further few years.

It is a crossroads for Stokes, who appeared to have learned from his mistakes made when he was a teenager before his latest lapses.

If he can continue to play the way he did at the weekend, and keep on banging in the goals, the club are in a win-win situation.

If they give him a new deal, they have a player who can enhance their team.

Should they decide they want to sever their ties, Stokes will attract decent offers.


THE 24-year-old Irish striker has an ability to find danger areas - both in the opposition box and in his personal life.

But Neil Lennon will want to keep the wayward striker from Dublin.

Stokes has proved he can score goals and the Celtic manager will believe he can improve the player's awareness and keep him on a straight path off the pitch.

With Gary Hooper inching towards the exit door, Celtic can not afford to overlook the menace that Stokes brings to the side.

He was excellent at the weekend and he was eye-catching in his movement as well as scoring two goals.

Celtic need four top-class strikers to compete across three domestic tournaments and in the European arena.

With doubts over Hooper's long-term future, Stokes must be one of them.

He is not the finished article but he has proved he has the potential to score prolifically in the SPL.