One of our most impressive performers in the second-half of the season, it appears Isaac Hayden will be leaving St James’ Park this summer for personal reasons.
The former Arsenal man joined us on a five-year deal back in the summer of 2016, and there was no doubt that these last six months have been some of his best performances in a Magpies shirt. If there are any possible solutions to keeping hold of him, then they have to be explored.
After Newcastle’s final home game of the season against Liverpool, Hayden explained (via The Telegraph): “I think I will be going. It’s not what is best for me or my family to be playing here next season and to be doing the traveling I have done this season. Hopefully, something can be done and the club have been quite proactive with that, so I don’t think there will be a problem.”
Early reports from Chronicle Live have suggested that West Ham are one of the clubs looking into signing Hayden, with an initial £15m price tag being placed on him. The report adds that despite this, there is still a hope Rafa Benitez could use his powers of persuasion to convince Hayden to stay at the club, particularly with the side making tangible progress on the pitch.
Despite being a holding midfielder, Hayden has contributed to the side going forward this season, chipping in with a goal and four assists. He became a permanent fixture in Benitez’s side, and showed the discipline and responsibility of protecting the back four when required. His passing improved considerably too, averaging almost one key pass per game from deep in midfield.
Being just 24 and English, and in this increasingly important world of having a home-grown contingent in your squad as per Premier League rules, Hayden represents a valuable option in our side. Whilst we could raise some decent funds by cashing in on him, if we can manage to convince him to stay then he could continue to be the base in our midfield.