Thursday, May 26, 2022
SportHibsGary Holt opens up on Anthony Stokes interest & Julien Serrano, Lars...

Gary Holt opens up on Anthony Stokes interest & Julien Serrano, Lars Lokotsche signings

GARY HOLT insists Livingston could provide the perfect platform for Anthony Stokes to revive his career, providing he is willing to put in the graft.

Livi have wasted no time in bolstering their ranks following Lyndon Dykes’ midweek move to QPR, snapping up 6ft 3ins attacker Lars Lokotsch on a two-year deal and securing Monaco defender Julien Serrano on a season-long loan.

They are also interested in securing the services of Stokes – currently a free agent following a brief dalliance with Iranian side Persepolis – on a one-year contract.

Anthony Stokes, formerly of Hibs and Celtic | Livingston news
Anthony Stokes, pictured during his third stint at Hibs, is now a target for Livingston

But in spite of the undeniable talent possessed by Stokes, who has scored 136 goals and won eight major honours in Scottish football, Holt has emphasised that he would be expected to buy into the same work ethic as every other player.

“Anthony has a lot of quality and a lot of good traits that I don’t think we currently have at the club,” said the Livingston manager.

“You don’t play at the level he has played at, won the things he has won, without being a very good footballer.

“It is something we will explore and speak to Anthony and his representatives. I look at Anthony’s pedigree and think: I could work with him.

“But he’ll know he’s coming here to work. We place demands on individuals and, if he buys into that and wants to be part of it, then we have a good chance of getting something done.”



Meanwhile, Holt believes 6ft3ins attacker Lokotsch has the same hunger that turned Lyndon Dykes into a £2 million marksman.

The 24-year-old does not boast the eye-catching pedigree of fellow new signing Serrano, having spent the majority of his career in the German fourth tier with the likes of Oberpleis, Herkenrath, Bonner and Rödinghausen.

However, Holt is adamant his work ethic, physicality and desire to try his luck in British football makes up for a modest CV.

Lars Lokotsch and Julien Serrano are unveiled by Livingston | Livingston news
Lars Lokotsch and Julien Serrano are unveiled by Livingston (Pic: @LivingstonFC)

“Lars’ hunger is similar to Lyndon’s,” continued Holt. “Lyndon came in here with an attitude of ‘I want to improve, I want to move on’ and he embraced his chance. Look at where he is now.

“That opportunity is across the board here if you buy into what we do and work your socks off every single day – and when you get your chance in a game, take it.

“He’s a physical specimen and is confident he can cope with the Scottish demands. He thinks he is suited for football over here and, looking at him in training, there is definitely something there.

“He has that freshness. He wants to come and work, and he’ll be a good fit for this club.

“He has the make-up of an old-fashioned number nine – he’ll dump you on your backside! He ticks a lot of boxes we were looking for.”

Holt has refused to rule out selecting his new duo against Aberdeen on Sunday, citing the ‘element of the unknown’ and ‘freshness’ the pair could bring to the Livi side.

Such a call would undoubtedly be a baptism of fire for 22-year-old Serrano.

He has played 11 senior games for Ligue 1 giants Monaco, enjoyed loan spells with Cercle Brugges and Beziers – but, as Holt attests, has never experienced anything like the rough-and-tumble of the game in Scotland.

“You don’t play for Monaco unless you have something,” added Holt. “He is eager to learn, he is listening and asking the right questions – I believe he’ll enhance the group.

“It’s whether he can handle the Scottish game, whether he can handle the way we work to get the best out of him. It’s certainly an eye-opener for him! Hopefully, he’ll embrace it and think ‘I quite enjoy it here’.”

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