He’s a player that Sunderland fans really wanted to see given a chance this season, but Josh Hawkes will be getting senior football elsewhere in the 2021-22 season.
In one of the deals that took a while for the EFL to approve, Hawkes is heading to League Two outfit Tranmere Rovers until the end of the campaign.
The 22-year-old was a real star for Sunderland’s under-23 side last season after signing from Hartlepool United in September 2020, playing in 22 Premier League 2 matches and scoring 14 times, whilst also racking up seven assists.
A highly-versatile attacking midfielder who is also equally adept as a winger, Hawkes featured in pre-season for the Black Cats and there was hope from supporters that Hawkes, along with Dan Neil and Elliot Embleton would all get chances to impress in the first-team.
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Whilst Neil and Embleton have shone, Hawkes has remained on the bench and he will now aim to make his EFL breakthrough at Prenton Park and not the Stadium of Light.
Hawkes has commented on his move to the Super White Army with Sunderland fans also wishing him well on the Wirral.
— Josh Hawkes (@Joshhawkes5) September 3, 2021
On the face of it, Sunderland’s depth out wide doesn’t look amazingly strong with not much backing up Aiden McGeady and Lynden Gooch.
Leon Dajaku has arrived on loan from Union Berlin and Nathan Broadhead, on loan from Everton, can probably do a job but Hawkes provided a lot of excitement for regular watchers of Sunderland’s development squad last season.
For whatever reason though, Johnson doesn’t believe he is ready for first-team football at the Stadium of Light, and with the Wearsiders currently at the top of the pile in League One his judgment has to be trusted.
Tranmere are gaining a player though who clearly has an eye for goal and in a few months time we will see what Hawkes’ true level is in the EFL pyramid and whether or not he can do a job for the Black Cats in the second half of he season.