The renaissance of Isaac Hayden has been quite something.

During January, the midfielder once again made it clear that he wanted to leave Newcastle. During the same time, there was a bit of a midfielder crisis.

Ki Sung-Yueng was at the Asian Cup, while Jonjo Shelvey and Mo Diame were out injured. As for Sean Longstaff, we hadn’t seen what he was capable of yet.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

So Hayden’s desire to leave intertwined with a return to the first-team, where many fans, including myself, criticised his performances.

I even went as far to say that he should not play for the club again.

I owe Hayden an apology

Of course, Hayden would play for the club again, and to a very high standard.

The former Arsenal man has been playing out of his skin lately. Ever since the Manchester City win, you haven’t been able to question Hayden’s commitment.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

While he does want to leave, you wouldn’t be able to tell from his recent performances.

The 23-year-old has been so good that now it’s hard for Rafa Benitez to drop him. Alongside Longstaff, the pair have dominated midfield battles, even with Ki and Diame returning from injury.

Now Shelvey is back, he is just another player to sit behind Hayden in the pecking order.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

With three centre midfielders returning to fitness, it was hard to imagine Hayden retaining his place, especially given his comments about leaving.

But his attitude combined with his form mean that Benitez can’t drop him.

All the talk has been about Longstaff’s rapid rise, but our number 14 also deserves a massive amount of praise.

Isaac, I’m sorry.

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