League Two side Tranmere Rovers have completed the loan signing of versatile Sunderland midfielder Josh Hawkes, who will spend the remainder of the 2021/22 season on loan with Micky Mellon’s men.
The 22-year-old’s move to Prenton Park was finalised before Tuesday night’s deadline subject to FA and EFL clearance, with approval from the governing bodies now provided in time for the Merseyside club fourth-tier fixture against Hawkes’ former club Hartlepool United on Saturday afternoon.
After showing promise in the National League with the Pools, making a very brief debut in 2017 as an 18-year-old in League Two before becoming a more regular member of the first-team in the fifth tier, he moved on to the Black Cats last summer on a two-year deal, and linked up with the Wearside club’s Under-23s squad.
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He made a name for himself in Premier League 2 during the 2020/21 campaign, scoring a remarkable 13 goals and recording six assists in 20 appearances, knocking on the door of the first team in the process.
But manager Lee Johnson has decided to send the winger, who can also play as an advanced midfielder, out on loan to fellow third-tier side Doncaster Rovers where he is likely to receive a more sufficient amount of game time.
Richie Wellens’ side have only won one point from a possible 15 so far this season, so the Sunderland man will have a big job to do in potentially filling former loanee Josh Sims’ shoes and lifting the South Yorkshire side from their lowly position.
But should the Black Cats have kept him? Or does he need the guarantee of regular first-team football at this stage of his career? We take a look at how a selection of Sunderland fans have reacted to this latest news on Twitter.
This could be a good move for us and the lad. https://t.co/6iqU17Y3eT
— Allan Davis (@AL_SNR58) September 2, 2021
Make or break for the lad.
Coming up to 23 year old and only limited national league experience under his belt.
Wish him well, and hope he can come back and make an impression. https://t.co/p7gMiY0CsQ
— Kiel Watson (@kielwats0n) September 2, 2021
Great move this for Josh, and to a good club as well. I would've liked to see him have some involvement with us this season, but I guess at his age he needs regular first team football.
All the best to him 👏 https://t.co/zrX2xdEqxk
— Joel Gradwell (@joel_gradwell) September 2, 2021
Great move for the lad. Vital league experience will only benefit us in the long term. https://t.co/OyRr0G14yX
— Ewan (@eab1992) September 2, 2021
Hell of a move for him that. Hope he smashes it https://t.co/XFHkFKN9F9
— Delta Hotel (@danhall94) September 2, 2021
I had hoped to see him around the first team season, but if he gets regular minutes down there this should be a good move for him https://t.co/G8DE3PN85W
— Paul Jacques (@pauljacques83) September 2, 2021
— Kieran Regan (@KieranRegan99) September 2, 2021
As much as I absolutely love Hawkes and as painful as it is it’s probably the right choice he won’t get the game time he needs to develop here like Embo etc did https://t.co/FTefmPomyM
— Ben Craig (@BenCra1g) September 2, 2021