Always good to hear players talking so positively about joining Newcastle United and that is certainly the case with Isaac Hayden.

The defender/defensive midfielder was confirmed as the fifth senior signing of the summer on Monday, joining on a five year contract.

The former Gooner says that the transfer process started a month ago, meeting Rafa Benitez in London for a two hour chat.

Isaac Hayden says he was impressed with just how much the Newcastle boss knew about his background and his game, especially the ways Rafa had identified to improve his skill set.

Leaving the meeting, Hayden knew where he wanted to come, saying ‘this was the right place for me’, with the Rafa Benitez factor making it a ‘no-brainer’.

Isaac Hayden talking to the official club website:

“I met him in London in the middle of June and we had a good, two-hour long conversation.

“He explained a few things to me, what to improve and what I’m good at.

“It was good to know he’s obviously been watching my games and things like that. For me, as soon as that meeting was done, I knew that this was the only place for me to come and the only manager I want to play under and learn from.

“It was brilliant. He was talking to me about tactical things, things that he’d learnt in the past – everything. So for me to have that initially was massive, and as soon as I left that meeting I knew that this was the right place for me to come.

To meet him like that was fantastic and to work under him now is going to be even better and I think that the main thing I got from that meeting is I’m 100 per cent going to be a better player. I’m going to learn a lot from him while he’s my manager so it was a no-brainer to come here.”

All of the stories I’ve heard about the fans have been fantastic – they come out in their thousands which is what you want to see.

“To get the opportunity to play in front of them and show them what I’m capable of and play with the passion that I know they like, I think we will get on great.”