Isaac Hayden has agreed a deal to join Norwich City on loan from Newcastle United.
The midfielder becomes the first major player to exit St James’ Park this summer, with many more expected to follow.
News of Hayden’s departure comes as a real shock, with an announcement coming out of the blue. There hadn’t even been any speculation of a move to Carrow Road.
However, it did feel inevitable that he was going to exit the club in the coming months. He hasn’t played for Newcastle since December 2021, and was dropped from Eddie Howe’s Premier League squad due to injury.
Hayden has issued a couple of statements on Twitter that appeared to suggest he was leaving, and that has proven to be the case.
The 27-year-old will spend next season on loan at Norwich, and will join them permanently if certain criteria is met.
Hayden speaks after joining Norwich
The former Arsenal man has commented on his departure from Newcastle.
“I am absolutely delighted [to join Norwich],” he told the Canaries’ official website.
“This is a fantastic club. Everything is well run, it has got a good infrastructure and the stadium and the fan base is great.
“I am here to try to help the team get back to the Premier League. The facilities at the training ground are great and changed significantly from when I have visited before. I’ve also looked at our squad and I want to add to that and help get us promoted straight away.
“The head coach was a big factor for me. He called me straight away and saw that I was out of the picture at Newcastle. I had spoken to him a few times before and he always struck me as somebody who was trying to do the right things and doing things very well at football clubs.”
Norwich have landed the ultimate pro
Dean Smith should be very happy with his latest signing. Norwich have landed a top professional who will really help them next season.
Hayden was relatively unknown when he joined Newcastle in 2016. Rafa Benitez signed him from Arsenal for £1.5million.
But he played an important role in our promotion from the Championship, then made the step up to the Premier League. He’s had some excellent moments in the top flight, but the most memorable will probably be his last minute winner against Chelsea in 2020.
Hayden was always incredibly reliable for Newcastle. He did a job no matter where he played. He excelled at centre-back at times, and put in an amazing performance against Southampton in 2021 shortly after recovering from COVID.
Norwich’s new signing is a warrior, and the kind of player they need to help them return to the Premier League.
Good luck, Isaac!