SUNDERLAND striker Anthony Stokes has joined Championship side Crystal Palace on loan until the end of the season.

The 20-year-old Republic of Ireland international has joined the London club, currently 14th in the Championship table, to help Neil Warnock’s side stay clear of the relegation places.

Stokes, who joined Sunderland from Arsenal two years ago, played just three games for Sunderland near the start of the season before joining Sheffield United on loan, where he played 12 matches.

After a successful loan spell with Falkirk in the SPL, scoring 16 goals in 18 games, Stokes enjoyed a promising start on Wearside, scoring two goals in 14 appearances as Sunderland won the Championship.

The young Dubliner played 20 Premier League games last season, eight of which were starts, and scored a crucial goal in a 1-0 win at home to Derby.

He also scored two late goals at home to Northampton in the third round of the Carling Cup last September, forcing extra-time as Sunderland eventually progressed on penalties.

Stokes has won three senior caps for Ireland and has also played regularly for the Under-21s.