Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden, who spent eight years as an Academy player at Arsenal, has had his say on why the top flight is where everybody wants to play and confidence in his ability to ‘hack it’ once he does feature for the Magpies next season.
The versatile 22-year-old signed for a reported £2m last summer from the Gunners and has gone on to make 38 club appearances – 33 in the Championship as Rafa Benitez’s side clinched promotion at the first time of asking.
Having been part of Hull City’s side that also secured promotion last season, Hayden has replicated the feat in successive campaigns. With over 50 matches in England’s second tier under his belt, he is determined to make his mark in the Premier League when given the opportunity.
As quoted by an article on the Chronicle Live he said, “All the best players in the world want to come to the Premier League and test themselves against the best players.
“I know I have got improving to do in certain aspects of my game – I have spoken to the manager about that – but he’s got full confidence in me, I have got full confidence in myself that come next season, especially in pre-season, my body will be 100-per-cent fit, ready and raring to go and improve.
“I should have no doubt that I’ll be able to hack it in the Premier League.”
Hayden was a shrewd acquisition for Newcastle last season having already tested his ability in the Championship. Someone who could offer steel to the midfield and ability both with and without the ball, the Chelmsford-born youngster has impressed once more to justify frustrations at why he wasn’t given a senior chance at Arsenal to do the same.
Featuring as a centre-back during their final league fixture of the season, Hayden was forced off due to concussion protocols after suffering a blow to the head early in the first-half. He’s resting and recovering from that, but has vowed to return early from his two-month summer break to start training alone.
“It’s been a long, hard season. I’ve had ankle injuries, I’ve been knocked here, I’ve been knocked there, but that’s just the nature of football, the nature of the way I play football. I always want to put myself about and make sure that I have an impact on the game. It will be good now to have a couple of weeks’ rest; resting the head, resting the body and then ready to go ahead for next season.
“I can’t speak for everybody else, but I’ll have two weeks off and I’ll be dying to come back. That’s just the nature of football. I love playing and I love improving and becoming a better player. The off-season, I know it’s a rest and obviously you are there to rest, but it’s seven weeks,” he continued.
“It gives you a good chance to work on your body and improve aspects that you might not have improved during the season because of so many games. It gives you a chance to come back and be ready for the Premier League.”
With Newcastle’s pre-season campaign set to begin in the first week of July, Hayden will be eager to impress and avoid any inconvenient injury issues before the start of his biggest season yet.