The 22-year-old midfielder spent the first half of the season on loan at Prenton Park but was recalled so Sunderland could fulfil their League One fixture at Wycombe earlier this month.
Sporting director Kristjaan Speakman has sanctioned Hawkes’ departure, with the player signing a two-and-a-half year contract at Tranmere which will run until the summer of 2024.
Sunderland signed Hawkes in September 2020, after his contract at Hartlepool expired, and the midfielder impressed for the Black Cats’ under-23 side last season.
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But how have Sunderland fans reacted to the move? Here, we take a look:
Jason Barrass: “Don’t understand that one like. Good little player with big potential. good luck to the lad.”
Chris Brown: “He’s at the stage where he needs to be playing and he’ll not get in our team. So it’s great to see that the club aren’t standing in his way.”
Kyle Kristofer Fryatt: “Be in the first team by now if was going to be.”
Billy Green: “Good luck to the lad.”
David Cairns: “Good luck to the lad. Really lovely to read what he has written on Instagram; respectful and appreciative of the club, the leadership and the fans.”
Connor Peachey: “Odds on to score a couple of goals against us if we ever play them.”
Andy Atkinson: “Good luck Josh hope all goes well and you have a great career a great move for you.”