Local football sources in the North East have confirmed to Roker Report that Sunderland AFC are set to sign Josh Hawkes from Hartlepool United, pipping a host of other league clubs to secure the services of the promising 21-year-old.
The Stockton-born midfielder has been a stand out player for ‘Pools over the last few seasons in the National League, making 61 appearances and netting 12 goals along the way, including a debut goal back in 2018.
The acquisition of Hawkes will add another dynamic, attack-minded player to Phil Parkinson’s ranks, as he and Under 23 coach Elliot Dickman look to integrate more youngsters into the first team set-up in response to the squad salary cap.
Josh Hawkes was first linked with a move to Sunderland, Middlesborough and Newcastle over a year ago, before Hartlepool extended his contract. Sky Sport News’ Jeff Stelling has extolled his virtues in his column in The Non League Paper, stating:
He’s a great creative, free spirit, within the team. I’m absolutely certain he will play at a higher level.
The prospect of signing a local talent - one with plenty of senior game-time under his belt - will be another morale boost to Sunderland fans ahead of the club’s first League One game of the season against Bristol Rovers at the Stadium of Light this afternoon.