West Ham United are one of several clubs eyeing a raid for Josh Hawkes this summer…
That’s according to TEAMtalk, who claimed that the Irons are among the clubs ready to swoop for the Sunderland gem, with the likes of Crystal Palace, Leeds United and Newcastle United also keen.
The 22-year-old midfielder was signed on a free transfer from Hartlepool and has played a crucial role for the Black Cats’ under-23 side in their run to the Premier League 2 Division 2 play-offs.
The Hammers have often had success when dipping into the lower leagues, most recently seeing their £22m gamble on Jarrod Bowen pay dividends this season as the young winger has featured regularly on their way to securing a Europa League berth. He provided eight goals and five assists in 38 appearances this term, as per Tranfermarkt.
For the young Black Cats this season, Hawkes has proven to be a reliable threat, registering 14 goals and seven assists, including important strikes against some well-respected academies in West Brom, Aston Villa and Reading.
This form has led to plenty of glowing endorsements in recent times, with popular Sunderland fansite Roker Report dubbing him a “revelation” with a “pretty ridiculous goal record for a midfielder”.
That acclaim echoed the thoughts of The Northern Echo reporter Nick Loughlin, who also lauded him as a revelation and provided further comments from Jeff Stelling during his time at Hartlepool.
“I’m sat next to Higgy [Craig Hignett] in the director’s box and Josh Hawkes is on the bench and I’ve said ‘for God’s sake we need Josh Hawkes on the pitch, a free spirit who can create’. Higgy has put him straight in and look at the difference.”
It remains to be seen how much Sunderland would command for a player who has only once tasted first team football for them, but if David Sullivan and co can secure the 22-year-old’s signature, it could well be another gamble which pays dividends – a masterclass from GSB again.
The 1.8m (6 foot) dynamo could be a bargain addition at West Ham this summer.