Arsenal defender Isaac Hayden is set to join Newcastle United on a five-year contract, Sky Sports understands.
The 21-year-old center back who can also operate as a defensive midfielder earned promotion to first team from Arsenal’s youth academy in 2013, but could manage only 2 senior appearances in the two subsequent seasons before he left for Hull City on a season-long loan.
Now in the last 12 months of his contract, Rafa Benitez has identified him as a utility player and a value addition to the squad, making him the 5th signing of what has been a busy summer for the once Champions League winning manager.
Hayden can be deployed as a center back, a central midfielder, a full-back and has also occasionally featured as a playmaker. Hence it comes as no surprise as to why Benitez opted to go for him.
What also helped the case was his successful season with Hull City, in which Hayden along with fellow Arsenal loanee Chuba Akpom helped the Tigers seal promotion back to the Premier League.
The defender-cum-midfielder, born to Jamaican mother and English father, went on to make 24 appearances in all competitions for Hull, though having missed out on facing his parent club in the FA Cup in accordance with the rules of the FA.
It will, however, take another season at the least to see Hayden in the Premier League as the Magpies got relegated to the championship at the end of last season.
They ended their last Premier League season for a while with a thumping 5-1 victory over Arsenal’s North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Having appeared for England at every level from U16 to U20, it shall not be surprising to see Hayden as a part of the England senior team at any time in the near future.
With the transfer to Newcastle and the prospect of playing under a manager like Rafa Benitez certainly adding to the experience factor.