Newcastle United land potential Isaac Hayden boost as Steve Bruce favourite steps up return from knee injury
According to Chronicle Live, Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce has landed a potential boost for next season with Isaac Hayden stepping up his rehabilitation from injury.
The midfielder saw his campaign cut short in March after sustaining a significant knee injury away to Brighton & Hove Albion, but was able to avoid surgery after scans revealed the full extent of the issue.
Hayden had been a favourite of Bruce throughout the term when fit, with the Englishman starting 22 of his 24 Premier League appearances and filling in at a number of positions to cover for injuries.
Bruce had been awash with praise for the way at which Hayden was able to step in and perform outside of his deep-lying midfield role, while called on to feature four times in central defence and once at right-back in the league.
“He’s been very valuable because of his versatility, of course, and that helps enormously,” Bruce said, via quotes by The Shields Gazette. “Certainly, when you see him perform the way he did and the way he has done numerous times at centre-back, then it does give you food for thought. He’s also played right-back, which he does very, very well too.”
Bruce could now be boosted by the return of Hayden in time for the start of next season, after the 26-year-old stepped up his recovery from injury by returning to training last week and begun kicking a ball earlier this week.
Newcastle are refusing to rush Hayden back for this week’s Premier League meetings with Sheffield United and Fulham as the curtain falls on the 2020/21 season, but are likely to have the Arsenal product available in time for pre-season training this summer.
Hayden returning to training ahead of the final two games of the current season will come as a boost for Bruce, as the Newcastle boss will want to have the former U21 international available from the off next term in the hope of avoiding another relegation battle.
The £22,000-per-week (Spotrac) star played a crucial role in several of the Magpies’ results this season, even when playing out of position, acting as a crucial interceptor in breaking up opposition attacks before they could reach the defensive line.
Newcastle have not always had the same impact from Jonjo Shelvey or Jeff Hendrick when they have been called on to feature in Hayden’s position, which will be expected to go back to the Chelmsford-born titan once he has returned to full fitness.
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