Why Brighton must sign Isaac Hayden from Newcastle United this summer
Newcastle United midfielder Isaac Hayden has handed in a transfer request, as per reports from Sky Sports. And reportedly, fellow Premier League outfit Brighton & Hove Albion are looking to pounce on the opportunity to make a move for the 23-year-old.
Hayden, an academy product of Arsenal, joined Newcastle in the summer of 2016 after failing to join the Gunners’ first-team. The midfielder became an integral part of the Magpies’ squad in his first season, playing a crucial role in their Championship triumph, in turn leading them to a promotion back to the Premier League.
In his first ever Premier League campaign, Hayden went on to impress, making 26 appearances for Rafael Benitez’s side. He found the back of the net on one occasion in the process. He also featured in three cup games as well but lost his place to Mohamed Diame towards the business end of the season.
Brighton have had a long-standing interest in the services of the 23-year old, with manager Chris Hughton keen on boosting his options in the centre of the park. The Seagulls have already made five signings this summer, having brought in goalkeepers Jason Steele and David Button, along with defenders Bernardo and Leon Balogun, while also signing striker Florin Andone.
Brighton were heavily reliant on the midfield partnership of Dale Stephens and Davy Propper on their return to the Premier League last season, with Beram Kayal acting as the backup.
While they do have Oliver Norwood and Richie Towell back at the club, it is unlikely that they will receive many first-team opportunities. And this is where signing Hayden would prove to be a handy acquisition for the Seagulls.
The 23-year-old has shown that he can be trusted at this level and he will bring in the added element of versatility to the side, given that he can easily slot in as a centre-back or a right-back if necessary. Possessing good tactical awareness and defensive nous, Hayden is adept at reading threats and stopping them with strong tackles and smart interceptions.
The former England U21 international also possesses great physical strength, which makes him a hard man to get past in the middle. His composure and the ability to spray cross-field passes out for the wingers to chase down should suit the way Brighton play.
Having already sold Mikel Merino this summer, it remains to be seen if Newcastle are willing to offload another midfielder. But if Brighton manage to land Hayden, it has the potential to be an excellent piece of business for the club.