By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger does not mind whether Anthony Stokes spends the remainder of this season in the Scottish or English Premier Leagues - as long as he continues his footballing education.
The 18-year-old Arsenal striker has been a revelation since moving on loan to Falkirk in September. Thirteen goals in 17 games has taken him to the top of the Scottish scoring charts and alerted attention down south. It has been reported that Premiership strugglers Charlton may be interested in taking Stokes on loan for the rest of this season. His deal with Bairns runs out on January 1 but his manager is comfortable with his young striker being north or south of the border.
"I would not be against Stokes at Charlton but it depends on him," said Wenger. I have had no request from Charlton until now.
"I certainly won't force him to come back [from Falkirk]. He will benefit from one year in the SPL in the first team. Then he will be in a stronger position to come back and say he wants to play in the first team. It is like Nicklas Bendtner at Birmingham City. Go out for a year then let's see how good you are."
Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 29 Dec 2006