‘Outstanding’, ‘Brilliant’ – some fans praise Hayden as he nears a summer exit from Newcastle

After Newcastle’s last-gasp defeat to Liverpool on Saturday evening, Isaac Hayden paid tribute to the club and its supporters while reiterating his desire to leave St James’ Park this summer. The 24-year-old’s contract runs until 2021, but he’s made it clear to Newcastle that he wants out for person reasons.

Hayden says he’s enjoyed his time in the North-East, telling reporters: “It’s been fantastic. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. My family situation is more important to me at this moment in time. It’s been a pleasure to play for Newcastle United. You never know what the future holds, but it’s been a pleasure to play in front of these fans every other week.”

The midfielder wants to be closer to his family in Wales and handed in a transfer request last summer. United wouldn’t sanction a move, however, so Hayden was forced to stay. His personal situation hasn’t affected his performances though. Hayden has impressed for Newcastle this season and has become an important player under Rafael Benitez.

The 24-year-old seemed surplus to requirements at the start of the campaign, making only two Premier League appearances between August and November, but an injury crisis changed everything. Newcastle lost Jonjo Shelvey, Mohamed Diame and Ki Sung-yueng at the mid-point of the campaign, forcing Benitez to bring Hayden back into the side.

The Englishman impressed and has gone on to play in 20 of Newcastle’s last 21 league outings. United won’t want to let Hayden go after the impact he’s made, but they should honour his wishes. Hayden’s one-year-old daughter has been made to endure five-hour commutes due to him being in Newcastle which isn’t sustainable. He’ll leave with the blessing of supporters this summer.

Stats from Transfermarkt.

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