Reported Newcastle target Josh Hawkes can play at a higher level says Sky Sports star

Hartlepool's Josh Hawkes celebrates scoring from the penalty spot against Wrexham.
Hartlepool's Josh Hawkes celebrates scoring from the penalty spot against Wrexham.

Hartlepool United youngster Josh Hawkes has attracted plenty of interest in recent weeks - with Newcastle one of the clubs reportedly interested in the midfielder.

Hawkes, 20, has been in fine form in recent weeks, scoring four goals in his last four National League games for Pools.

The midfielder has also been linked with North East neighbours Middlesbrough and Sunderland, after becoming a regular starter under Craig Hignett.

Hartlepool president and Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday host Jeff Stelling is also a fan and is certain Hawkes will go on to play at a higher level.

“Josh Hawkes is another one. In the early parts of the season I would sit in the stand next to Higgy and say,‘This is exactly the type of game where we need Josh Hawkes on’." Stelling told the Non League Paper.

“As soon as Craig took over, Josh has been a regular starter.

"He’s a great creative, free spirit, within the team. I’m absolutely certain he will play at a higher level.”

According to the Hartlepool Mail, Hawkes is likely to stay at Pools beyond the summer, with the club retaining a one-year extension option on his current deal.

Yet there is also an acceptance at Hartlepool that if a bigger club comes calling, the club won't stand in a player's way.