Darren Bent heaped praise on Newcastle United midfielder Isaac Hayden and shared that the 24-year-old really impressed him last season.
The Sky Sports pundit shared that he thought Hayden was one of the players who stepped up when the Magpies needed him to and as a result he was now a fan favourite.
Bent then shared that it was brilliant news that the midfield enforcer looked like he was staying at St James Park, Telegraph journalist Luke Edwards previously claimed it looked like Hayden wasn’t leaving, but shared he was surprised big sides weren’t looking at signing him.
“He did do really well in that defensive midfield role,” said Bent in an interview with Football Insider.
“He was one of those players that did well but really stepped up when they needed him. He was one there that really, really impressed me.
“He’s now one of the fans’ favourites, it’s brilliant news it looks like he’s staying. I’m surprised (the big sides aren’t looking at him). He’s English, he’s 24, if you look at the area for English players, we’re really crying out for someone in that midfield role for England.
“You’d think that he has to be in the discussion. His name could be mentioned. You think that he has another good season at Newcastle, he must be in the conversation.”
Bent is clearly a fan of Hayden and based on how he improved as his 2018/19 campaign went on, who can blame him? The midfield enforcer came on leaps and bounds during his latest campaign once Rafa Benitez opted to regularly use him. Hayden ended up making 28 appearances across all competitions and even managed to register four assists as well as grab a goal in his displays. In the opening weeks of the season, many Magpies fans were likely wishing Hayden gone. The midfielder got himself foolishly sent off against Cardiff City, after being brought on as a substitute, before looking out of his depth in the 2-1 loss to Arsenal. Yet once Benitez threw him back into the first-team before the end of the year, Hayden never looked back. The 24-year-old ended up having an impressive tackle success rate of 59% and impressively made 40 interceptions during his league outings (Source: Premier League). While Bent is surprised that big clubs haven’t come calling for the Magpies player this summer, you feel they may be waiting to see if his good form continues in his 2019/20 campaign.