Isaac Hayden made his return to the Newcastle first-team against West Ham on Saturday, after his three match suspension following his red card at Leicester.
Because of the international break in the middle of his ban, it seemed like an eternity since he played, with there being five weeks between his last two Newcastle starts.
But you would never know he had been away, as his performance levels were right back where they left off, and he dominated the midfield battle, overshadowing England star Declan Rice in the process, as we wrote in a previous article.
With the form Hayden has shown in 2019, the former Arsenal midfielder must surely be getting close to an England call-up himself, as he seems to go from strength to strength every week.
Hayden’s form suggests he is as good as some England midfielders
Certainly he has looked as good as, if not better, than many of the current crop of midfield options Gareth Southgate has chopped and changed with in recent international games.
Many fans around the country may think the kind of display he gave on Saturday against Rice is a one-off, but football fans who regularly watch Newcastle can let them know that those types of performance are the norm for Hayden.
All the talk since last season has been about how close Sean Longstaff was to Southgate’s squad, but it is Hayden that looks the more likely to get a phone call from the England manager.
One Newcastle fan asked how much Hayden might currently be worth, if Rice is reportedly valued at £80 million?
— ToonFan (@ToonFan14) November 3, 2019
Many Newcastle fans were unequivocal in their belief that he is not worth anything near that figure, and quick to suggest the West Ham player is over-hyped by some of the media.
Here are a few of the replies:
I didn’t want West Ham to take him off. Rice was passing it backwards when he had teammates breaking out on the left wing. Too much hype on this guy
— bobby martins (@BobbyGoa) November 3, 2019
Was he even playing yesterday?
— Paul Upton (@Puptonogood) November 3, 2019
— Gary Hardy (@hardy1473) November 3, 2019
Must have seen him play a dozen times and honestly don’t understand the fuss
— Steve McKenna (@SteveMcKenna_) November 3, 2019
Declan who 🤷♂️
— JayBell (@Jayb1970NUFC) November 3, 2019
Fair question – he’s hyped up by the London press far too much – his ability is exaggerated. If he played for Burnley or Southampton he’d be nowhere near England team.
— John Doyle (@Jdoyle67John) November 3, 2019
Might be proved wrong but don’t rate Declan rice & nothing to do with yesterday ⚽️
— Malcolm short (@1975mags) November 3, 2019
Alot more that’s for sure. Rice really is over hyped. He is slow, lacks dynamism, cant beat a man and passes ot backwards and sideways mostly. I’d take Longstaff any day.
— Jay Ashun (@JKOversion1) November 3, 2019
Declan Rice would be a great addition to Manchester United relegation battle. OLE get the deal done.
— Carl Wylie ⬛⬜ 1️⃣8️⃣9️⃣2️⃣ 🏴 (@wyilegeordie) November 4, 2019
Why didn’t they play rice yesterday?
— George (@GC640144) November 3, 2019