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West Ham signing this Arsenal academy graduate in the summer would have reinforced their squad like no other

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Isaac Hayden

Why West Ham should have signed Isaac Hayden

West Ham have been fairly fortunate that their attack has carried them so far this season, having accumulated a respectable 7 points from 4 games after being at the receiving end of a 5-0 hammering against the defending champions Manchester City.

A big reason for this has been their defensive set-up in midfield and the backline itself. One player they were linked with over the summer – and should move for in the January window – is Newcastle United’s Isaac Hayden.

Hayden, along with Sean Longstaff, was very important in the second half of the season as they played just in front of the defensive line.

Longstaff was the one setting the tempo and dictating play whereas Hayden was the ball-winner and helped in the transition from the defence to the attack.

Hayden’s qualities were on show in the game against Tottenham Hotspur, where he hardly got a sniff of the ball but made shuttle runs from side to side at least a 100 times, which was a pointer for the rest of the side with regards to team-shape.

He’s a truly selfless player, who leaves everything on the line and is a focal point for the rest of the side when they are out of possession as his ability to cover ground will help the likes of Declan Rice have enough time to recover into a position where he can nick the ball from.

West Ham have a lot of creative players in Pablo Fornals, Jack Wilshere and Manuel Lanzini now but they are quite vulnerable when out of possession, having sold Pedro Obiang.

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They have an ageing Mark Noble and while Declan Rice has been a sensation in that holding midfield role, he’s not the most mobile player in the world and is used mainly to initiate attacks and win the ball back when West Ham are sitting back in a fairly deep block.

Declan Rice

Hayden would have no trouble in settling down in London once again as he is an Arsenal graduate and a move to the London stadium would only elevate him to carry on by focusing on his football.