Newcastle United midfielder Isaac Hayden has shelved plans to discuss a new contract at St. James’ Park, as he is focusing on regaining his place in Steve Bruce’s side, according to the Chronicle.
Hayden is one of the many players that the club are chasing a breakthrough with as they aim to tie several to new contracts, but the 24-year-old has called a halt on the discussions started in the summer after falling somewhat down the Toon pecking order.
Toon chiefs want to reward Hayden with a new deal that better reflects his improved performances since the start of the calendar year, and extend his spell in the North East beyond 2021.
The Arsenal product had started the campaign as one of Bruce’s first choice options in the centre, beginning the season with seven straight starts in the Premier League, but a red card issued in the 5-0 loss to Leicester City opened the door for Matty Longstaff to step in.
Hayden returned to the starting line-up following his suspension with Sean Longstaff unavailable after seeing red against Wolverhampton Wanderers, and faces a challenge to maintain his place once each midfielder is back in contention.
Fabian Schar, Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey are also set to be out of contract in 2021, while the board hope to secure new deals with the Longstaff brothers before Matty is able to discuss terms with European clubs in January with his current contract up next summer.
Ritchie and Shelvey face no guarantees over being offered new contracts, though, as there is doubt in the former being given a new deal that takes him beyond his 30th birthday as he would be chasing a long-term contract after retiring from international duty.
Andy Carroll’s future at St. James’ Park beyond his one season deal will depend on how well the striker fares over the remainder of the season, which could be Ki Sung-Yueng’s final campaign at St. James’ Park with the South Korean almost certain to leave in June.
Newcastle chiefs do want Schar to sign an extended deal following successful discussions with Martin Dubravka, while the club have also signalled a desire to keep Karl Darlow.
Does Hayden deserve a new contract?
Should be sold
When available, Hayden has been one of our most important players this season, with the £9million-rated midfielder penning the second-most tackles per ninety minutes of any Newcastle player in the Premier League thus far with 3.1.
The 24-year-old also ranks third for interceptions with 1.9, and has won more aerial duels per ninety minutes (1.7) than any of our other midfielder’s, per WhoScored data.
Bruce keeping Hayden in the side – starting with next Monday’s trip to Aston Villa – is almost a must, and will go a long way in helping to secure the former England U21 international’s long-term future.