“Criminally underrated”, “Superb” – Some Newcastle fans praise “unsung hero” after win

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?

Yes, why change what has been working?

No, Sean Longstaff should be playing

No, Sean Longstaff should be playing

No, Matty 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…

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