Isaac Hayden returned from suspension on Saturday to play a key role in Newcastle United’s 3-2 win away at West Ham and prove that the club does not need to splash £13million on signing Ibrahima Sissoko in January.
Sissoko is a defensive midfielder for Strasbourg and it was claimed that the Ligue 1 player would have jumped at the chance of moving to St James’ Park and agreeing personal terms would not have been a problem.
Hayden, 24, was a beast in the Magpies midfield on Saturday.
According to stats by WhoScored, the former Arsenal midfielder made three tackles, three clearances, two interceptions and won all four of the aerial duels he challenged for.
In comparison to Sissoko this season, Hayden has averaged more tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocks per league game than the Strasbourg midfielder while Hayden has also conceded fewer fouls per game.
Hayden is not only outperforming Sissoko on a defensive level, but he is also looking far better when in possession of the ball and trying to move play forward.
Bruce’s defensive style of play is not exactly popular among the Toon Army but Hayden has still averaged more shots at goal, more key passes and more dribbles than Sissoko.
Hayden has also, on average in the league, been dispossessed fewer times and has had fewer poor touches of the ball.
Why would Newcastle need Sissoko?
Even when Hayden was suspended for three matches, Newcastle picked up a win against Manchester United before a respectable 1-0 defeat away against Chelsea.
Bruce has plenty of options in that area of the midfield and if anything, those funds that have been allocated towards signing Sissoko should be spent on strengthening the attack.