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Opinion

Yohan Cabaye coming back on a free? Give me this Newcastle United player every time

7 months ago
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If you had told me that our best performances of the season would come with a central midfield pairing of Issac Hayden and Sean Longstaff, I would have laughed at you…

However, the two have been fantastic together since the turn of the year. While Longstaff, as a local lad, has received his fare share of attention in the press, Hayden’s performances have largely gone under the radar.

Hayden has previously made it very clear he wants to leave the club.

After the Cardiff game at the start of the season, I think I said something along the lines of ‘Hayden is a disgrace, he should never play for the club again’, after he deliberately got himself sent off in that game.

Although he may argue that he didn’t intentionally make a tackle that would see him sent off, there is no doubt in my mind that he was playing without a care in the world, when it came to the consequences of his actions that day.

Since then though, you just can’t knock his effort on the pitch, and that is all you can ask for.

He isn’t the first Newcastle player in recent years who doesn’t really want to be here but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t giving his all.

Unlike Florian Thauvin, he hasn’t moped around the pitch.

Unlike Yohan Cabaye, he hasn’t gone on strike and refused to play.

Unlike Michael Owen, he hasn’t feigned injury so that he is fit when he does eventually get his move.

Incredibly, there was talk of Yohan Cabaye coming back on a free in January, a few fans with short memories seemingly getting on board with that idea.

I tell you what though, give me Issac Hayden over the likes of Yohan Cabaye every day of the week.

It is true that he will probably want to be off again at the end of the season but for the moment he 100% deserves his place in the team.

Hayden provides that much-needed energy and enthusiasm in the middle of the park that you just don’t get from Shelvey, Diame, Longstaff or Ki. He is not afraid to put himself into a tackle, and in the past few games, Rafa has given him a greater license to get further forward.

A few of the clubs he has been linked with in the press have been in the Championship and I just hope he doesn’t have to drop down a level or two just to be happier in his surroundings.

I have no idea what Hayden’s personal circumstances are, but what I can say, is that on the whole he has come across as being a consummate professional during his time at Newcastle.

You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn

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