Newcastle United began the summer with Isaac Hayden handing in a transfer request, but the key midfielder has remained at St James’ Park three months on from helping the Magpies thrash Fulham four-nil at Craven Cottage on the final day of the season.
The 6 ft 1 ace has now addressed why he has not moved away from Tyneside following the closing of the summer market, stating that he is now looking forward to playing a part in the club’s future in an open interview with the club’s official website.
There had been speculation that Hayden was being considered in East London as a potential alternative to Andre Gomes, as West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini sought midfield reinforcements. However, no move for the £15million-valued star was forthcoming by the Irons, who instead acquired Pablo Fornals for a reported £24million.
Further reports on the Arsenal product’s future suggested he was willing to stay on Tyneside as Deadline Day approached, but some Toon fans saw the claims as the club ‘just taking advantage of him’.
Thankfully, the club were not ‘taking advantage of him’, as Hayden has confirmed he spent the summer reflecting on his personal circumstances, and wanted to stay a Magpie.
“We had a lot of time off during the summer break to talk things through and reflect really,” he said. “As I said, my daughter is nearly coming up to two, she’s getting a lot stronger, getting a lot bigger. Touch wood she doesn’t need to have as many appointments any more.
“She’s a lot stronger, my fiancée is a lot stronger now than she was before in terms of her health, as well. It was just talking about it and reflecting on what the best decision was for us all – not just me.
“To her credit, she said: ‘It’s a huge football club, this opportunity doesn’t come around too often.’ She’d hate to be the person to say ‘you need to do what you need to do’. Considering what she’s been through, it’s a credit to her. The biggest moment last season was when she could hear on the TV the atmosphere of the fans. In terms of how the fans react to the players, and the passion for the players, you don’t get that anywhere else in England, really.”
He went on to add: “I’ll be honest, after the Fulham game I went away two hours after the match, and I remember sitting on the plane thinking how the fans reacted to me, and it was a massive moment.
“It was a nice feeling, and one that stuck with me during the summer.”
Here’s how these fans reacted to his post-window comments…