Newcastle United are thought to be deep in contract talks with several first team players, from youngster Matty Longstaff to star defender Fabian Schar.
One man they are also talking to is reliable central midfielder Isaac Hayden. The Chronicle reported on Sunday that the Magpies are trying to tie the 24-year-old down to fresh terms which reflect his improved performances since the turn of the year.
However, the newspaper also claims that the player himself shelved contract talks while he worked to try and win his place back in the Newcastle midfield.
The Longstaff brothers – Matty and Sean – were on quite the run prior to the latter being sent off against Wolverhampton Wanderers last month, something which opened the door for Hayden and Shelvey to reinstate their partnership in the middle of the park of late.
However, the fact that Hayden himself pressed pause on talks over paying him more money because he cared about getting back into the side and doing well for the team, is evidence of why the north east giants must move heaven and earth to keep him.
The statistics show why, from an on-the-field point of view, Hayden must be kept around. As per WhoScored.com, the Englishman is averaging 2.9 tackles, 1.8 interceptions and 1.3 clearances per game.
Meanwhile, he’s grabbed one assist this campaign and is averaging 1.1 successful dribbles per outing, to go with a pass success rate of 79.1%.
Not only is this one of Steve Bruce’s most reliable players, but a phenomenal character as well. Hayden is a leader, one of the good eggs at St James’ Park, and his contract stance just goes to prove it.