Sunderland have managed two back to back wins, and they are once again in a decent position to move to the Championship via the direct promotion spots. The Black Cats are currently third on the table, two points behind second-placed Barnsley having played a game less.
Jack Ross though is already looking for future reinforcements, and one of the names they have been linked with is Hartlepool United’s midfielder Josh Hawkes. The midfielder has been in stunning form recently as he hit three goals in five games. If reports from Coventry Telegraph are to be believed, then Premier League clubs like Newcastle United, Burnley and Huddersfield have also joined the race to sign this midfielder. From the Championship, Sheffield United and Hull City are also said to be keen.
Another reason for such frenzy for this National League midfielder is because he is in the final few months of his contract and the 20-year-old will be available for free in the summer. Sunderland’s chances look dim to us at the moment given the quality of the sides which are after Hawkes. There is no doubt that the 20-year-old midfielder would prefer to move to the Premier League if given an opportunity.
Sheffield United are also currently in a strong position to move to the Premier League from the Championship. The Black Cats need to make sure they make it to the Championship if they want to have any chance of luring this talented midfielder to the Wearside.
Sunderland brought in Grant Leadbitter last month to add depth and experience in midfield, but they would still want to get a player who can have attacking influence from midfield. Most of the options which Ross has in midfield are conservative, and someone like Hawkes can pop in with some crucial goals.
One of the other impressive aspects of Hawkes’ game is his composure when he is on the ball. Often young midfielders get hurried into making the wrong choices, but Hawkes seems to have that extra second to himself where he manages to make the right choice most often than not. Therefore even though he is just 20, it often looks like an experienced customer is operating in midfield.
Sunderland would be worried though after recent interest from the likes of Newcastle and Burnley. We expect both of them to survive the relegation and Hawkes could very well be lured to the Premier League. It remains to be seen what would transpire in the summer.