Sunderland Echo journalist Phil Smith has addressed the potential of Josh Hawkes gaining a chance in the Sunderland first team this season.
Hawkes, who saw his contract with Hartlepool United come to an end in June, was linked with a whole host of clubs this summer prior to his arrival on Wearside.
Burnley, Sheffield United, Middlesbrough, Huddersfield Town, Hull City and Barnsley were all said to be interested in the midfielder’s services but Sunderland announced a deal for the player earlier this week.
When the transfer was confirmed by the club, it was stated that Hawkes would play for their under-23 side initially, something of a surprise given the scale of the transfer interest reportedly shown in him.
Speaking via his latest Q&A with fans for Sunderland Echo, Smith addressed the potential of Hawkes gaining first team football this season.
‘Josh Hawkes has been signed primarily as an U23 player, so he will to have impress in that side before he gets an opportunity with the senior group.
‘He very much represents the change in approach, though, in that he’s a player who they think can bridge the gap between the U23 and senior groups, over time.
‘The EFL trophy might yet be his first way in.’
Hawkes will likely be given a chance in the Sunderland first team, but it is quite surprising that he has not gone straight into Phil Parkinson’s plans.
Given his impressions at non-league level and the number of clubs who had been interested in his services, he seems to have a good future ahead of him, and hopefully it won’t be long before he showcases his talents for the Black Cats’ first team.
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