Some Newcastle United fans have been praising the “criminally underrated” Isaac Hayden for his performance against Sheffield United on Thursday night.
Hayden started the Premier League encounter at Bramall Lane for his fifth-straight opening call, having been forced to sit out clashes with Manchester United, Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers through suspension.
The minutes lost at Leicester City when shown a straight red card, and in the following fixtures sat out, remain Hayden’s only dropped minutes of the campaign thus far across all competitions.
He featured from the off away to the Blades on Thursday night partnered by Jonjo Shelvey in central midfield, while Andy Carroll led the line in his first start of the term as Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron held down wide duties.
Hayden’s performance would see the 24-year-old record 44 touches, per WhoScored data, and with them, completed 21 of his 28 passes, attempted three dribbles – completing one – and attempted a sole shot on Dean Henderson’s goal, albeit seeing it blocked.
Is Hayden-Shelvey now Bruce’s first-choice pairing?
Yes, why change what has been working?
No, Sean Longstaff should be playing
No, Matty Longstaff should be playing
The Arsenal product also won both of his aerial duels – one in offence and defence – and took possession with two of his four tackles and two interceptions.
He did turn over possession 11 times, however, which was the fifth-most of the players head coach Steve Bruce handed starting roles to. Hayden also only won three of his eight ground duels, and failed to connect with a teammate with either of his two attempted long passes.
Some Toon fans did not let his indiscretions waiver their glowing opinions of Hayden’s performance against the Blades, though, going by these messages shared on social media…
Hayden has been unreal this season. Unsung hero! #NUFC
— JamboMalumbo (@JamboMalumbo) December 5, 2019
Hayden was superb tonight! #NUFC
— JW (@Mr_JDAW) December 5, 2019
Get in! Big three points! Shelvey and Hayden quality #NUFC
— Jamie Carter (@pean_7) December 5, 2019
— Lee Vincent (@Vinny58) December 5, 2019
Cracking defensively tonight. Give so much praise to Dubravka for a host of outstanding saves. Clark, Fede and Paul were all brilliant as well.
For me, Isaac Hayden is one of the most criminally underrated players around right now. He’s a boss.#NUFC
— Kieran Harm (@KieranHarm) December 5, 2019
So the last couple of games have seen Hayden back to his best. Breaking up play & the ground this lad covers & workrate game after game for #nufc is phenomenal! Gotta be the most consistent English CDM right now in the league but likes of Rice get ahead of him for #England 🤔
— Chris Currie (@Wig82) December 5, 2019
Next time you watch Newcastle, watch Isaac Hayden closely. You will end up seeing how good he actually is. Deserves so much credit.
— Owen 🤧 (@Shep_NUFC) December 6, 2019
Manny, Fede, Dubz, Hayden, Miggy and Carroll all played well and worked there socks off!! #NUFC
— Davez (@davez2010) December 5, 2019
In other Newcastle United news, the club are reportedly moving to sign a record-breaking wonderkid appearing on a dominant European giants’ radar.
This article was originally posted here