When Fabian Delph withdrew from the latest England squad with a hamstring injury, Gareth Southgate chose not to replace him. But he could have drafted Newcastle’s Isaac Hayden in.
Hayden is currently one game into a three game ban for his red card at Leicester, but has been in great form this season, carrying on from that of the last one.
Delph keeps getting selected for England squads, but in reality, he is no better a player than Hayden is, based on current form.
In fact, as a much younger player, Hayden should arguably be called into the national squad ahead of Delph anyway, given that he could be seen a having longevity over the Everton midfielder.
A lot of talk – particularly last season – was over the England prospects for Sean Longstaff, but it is Hayden who deserves national recognition more, especially due to his performances during the opening couple of months this season.
He is full of confidence, and much of that seems to be down to making a decision on his future, and his change of mind over staying at Newcastle.
Indeed, the Chronicle reported yesterday that they expect Hayden to be one of the first of the current crop of players to pen a new, extended deal to stay on Tyneside.
Isaac Hayden is now concentrating solely on football
With his personal situation now looking sorted, he has been able to focus purely on football, and Newcastle have been the beneficiaries of that.
It is a surprise that he has not had a call-up to the senior England squad already, and with Delph out, it would have been the perfect opportunity for Southgate to look at Hayden first hand.
He may not have been given the opportunity to win a cap, but the experience of being in the squad would have benefited him, and would have been the perfect end to a year that has seen him, and his career, transformed.