Bristol Live (h/t Team Talk) has reported that Middlesbrough and Newcastle United have joined the race for Hartlepool United midfielder Josh Hawkes. The 20-year-old has been in fine form this season for Hartlepool, making 21 appearances so far for the club.
However, what has interested the likes of Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Newcastle United, Burnley (h/t Hartlepool Mail) and a few others is the fact, that Hawkes has done enough recently to earn a first-team spot.
Although he started the season on the fringes of the first-team, making his debut as a substitute on the opening day, things changed with Hawkes getting dropped for the next 12 games.
But injuries to other players and his versatility saw him return to the bench, impressing more than enough to earn a spot in the starting line-up. A versatile star, Hawkes can play anywhere across the midfield line, specialising as a number 10.
Moreover, he’s scored five goals since his return to the starting eleven, which has provoked manager Craig Hignett to start the young starlet.
However, that form has come to the attraction of a few Premier League and Championship clubs, which will prove to be a problem for Hartlepool United in the near future. But for Middlesbrough, it’s a move they need to make, especially given the state of their midfield.
Stewart Downing is 34 years old and Marcus Tavernier is only 19 years old, which means he needs time to adjust to the Championship. Rajiv van La Parra has struggled to make an impact since joining the side during the January transfer window on loan.
It shows the shape of Boro’s midfield and it also shows exactly why the club need to win the race for the Hartlepool United star.
While manager Tony Pulis will have no problem in convincing the 20-year-old attacking midfielder to join the club, things could get complicated.
The likes of Newcastle United and Burnley are also in the race for the young star and could prove to have a better path to the first-team than a side battling to try and achieve their dreams of promotion.
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In any case, a move cannot be made until the summer transfer window opens again and so for now, Boro need to make sure they keep scouting Josh Hawkes.
Otherwise, they could potentially lose out on a future star and someone who could potentially lead them to the Premier League in the near future.
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