So just who is Isaac Hayden, Newcastle United’s newest recruit?
Born in Chelmsford on March 22nd 1995, Isaac is a product of the Arsenal Youth Academy, having joined them from Southend United at the age of 13. At 6ft 1 1/2 he already has many of the physical attributes that seem mandatory for the modern footballer, whilst as well as a sizeable frame (that will no doubt bulk up over the coming years) he is quick and assured with the ball at his feet. That is, after all, the Arsenal way.
Born to a Jamaican mother and English farther he could still yet choose to play for either nationality given he is yet to represent his country at senior level of course. Although he seems to have nailed his early colours to the mast with appearances at every level of the England set up from U16 to U20’s.
He made his full debut for Arsenal playing in midfield in a win against West Brom way back in September 2013 in the League Cup. His only game for the senior team that season. Likewise the following season would only see him making one appearance, again in the League Cup, this time playing Centre Half in a loss against Southampton.
His early promise would not be fulfilled at Arsenal, and as with so many youngsters there it would take a loan move to see him gain valuable first team experience.
His loan would be at promotion chasing Hull City where he would make a further 24 first team appearances and generally impress next to Livermore and Diame in midfield, often outshining his more senior counterparts. His spell was certainly a success.
The player himself knew he needed a move away from the Gunners however and said ‘as soon as I knew Newcastle were interested I jumped at the chance’. He also singled out Rafa as a key reason for him joining and talked openly about a two hour meeting he’d had with the Newcastle manager back in June.
Undoubtedly the lad has much to learn, and there will of course be question marks on why he wasn’t snapped up by other now Premier League clubs, and certainly by Hull, if he’s ‘that’ good. However Rafa really likes the player and under his guidance this deal, at just £2.5m on a 5 year deal, could end up being one of Newcastle’s best recent bits of business. Let’s hope so!