Claridge amazed by Arsenal’s decision to sell Stokes

In his column for the Guardian, Claridge wrote: “Sometimes when you hear talk of a player – and there has been plenty about Anthony Stokes – it makes you wonder what all the hype is about … In his case, the rave reviews are more than justified.

“Watching him made me all the more amazed that Arsenal were prepared to sell him, albeit for upwards of £1m. Naturally a striker, Stokes was asked to play on the left wing for Sunderland at St Andrew’s and, with that in mind, my analysis will be on him as a player rather than specifically as a left-sided midfielder. Yet the fact that he still impressed and was spot on with his attitude despite being asked to play in an unfamiliar role said a lot for the 18-year-old’s appetite for the game.”