It looks as though Isaac Hayden is still desperate to leave Newcastle United.
The midfielder going public in the summer, saying he wanted to leave St James Park due to personal/family reasons.
With a small squad and Mike Ashley insisting on a £20m+ profit in the summer window, Rafa Benitez refused the player’s request, not least because he knew if he sold Isaac Hayden he would almost certainly not get the full sale price to invest in a replacement. Mikel Merino sold for £10m and replaced by free transfer Ki Sung-yeung, whilst Rafa was blocked from buying Salomon Rondon and only allowed a loan deal that meant Dwight Gayle had to go in the other direction, despite Mitrovic being sold for £22m – which could rise to £27m.
Yesterday, Rafa Benitez took the opportunity to praise and boost Isaac Hayden (see below), mindful of the fact that he might need him in the coming weeks and months due to his limited squad.
Isaac Hayden still desperately wants to leave and the fact that Rafa Benitez has only given the midfielder two league starts in the past 11 months sums up how far out of his first teams plans the former Arsenal player is, especially moving forward. Hopefully money will be made available in January so Rafa Benitez can bring in new players who he does want to play in the team, allowing Isaac Hayden and possibly others to leave.
As for Isaac Hayden’s next club, it was widely thought he must want to move back to the London/Essex area where he is originally from.
However, it has now been revealed that it is the South West which is a more likely destination. Bristol Live report that Isaac Hayden’s young daughter lives with her mother in Wales, the player obviously wanting to move closer and see more of her.
Bristol Live put Bristol City up as potential next club for Hayden but obviously Cardiff and Swansea would also make sense.
If a player wants to leave, especially for these kind of reasons, then usually it makes little sense to keep hold of them. However, with the daft way Mike Ashley runs Newcastle and the extreme limitations on transfers this past summer, Rafa Benitez was put in an impossible situation when it came to coming up with a solution.
“Isaac Hayden is fine.
“At the start of the season it was all a bit confused but he is OK.
“He played against Cardiff and got sent off, which obviously I was not expecting.
“After that, with Diame and Shelvey playing well, now Ki has the Premier League experience too, so it has been difficult for him.
“Because of the balance of the bench, we have decisions to make all the time but he is fine.
“He was an important player for us but, because at the beginning of the season everything was a little bit wrong, he needed to settle down.
“You could see against Cardiff, I’m not blaming him, but he was not focused and I wasn’t expecting it.
“He was sent off because, for me, he was very excited and wanted to impress.
“It was wrong for him but, if he continues to train like he has the last couple of weeks, then he will get chances to play.
“I was speaking to him and he is fine, at the moment he wants to be here…I think so, but we will see in the future.
“It doesn’t matter anyway because he is here (for the time being) and he has to keep going.”