Rafa Benitez gives update on unsettled Newcastle player ahead of January transfer window
Isaac Hayden's Newcastle United future is still uncertain ahead of the January transfer window.
Hayden came off the bench in last weekend’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth.
The midfielder asked for a move ahead of the summer transfer window for “family reasons”.
However, United manager Rafa Benitez told Hayden that he had to stay at Newcastle.
Hayden was dismissed for a clumsy challenge minutes after coming off the bench in the club’s second game of the season against Cardiff City.
“He was an important player for us,” said Benitez.
“But, because at the beginning of the season everything was a little bit wrong, he needed to settle down – you could see against Cardiff.
“I’m not blaming him, but he was not focused. He was sent off because, for me, he was very excited and wanted to impress.
“It was wrong for him, but if he continues to train like he has the last couple of weeks (he will get opportunities). I was speaking to him, and he’s fine.”
Benitez believes that Hayden, signed from Arsenal two years ago and under contract at St James’s Park until 2021, is now focused ahead of an important run of Premier League fixtures.
“He’s fine,” said Benitez. “At the start of the season, it was all a bit confused.
“But he’s OK. He played against Cardiff and got sent off. After that (Mohamed) Diame and (Jonjo) Shelvey were playing well.
“Ki (Sung-yueng) has the Premier League experience, so it’s been difficult for him. Because of the balance of the bench, we have decisions to make all the time, but he’s fine.”
Hayden could again ask to leave in January’s transfer window.
However, the former England Under-21 international would not be allowed to leave without Benitez securing a replacement.
“At the moment he wants to be here, I think so,” said Benitez.
“We’ll see in the future. It doesn’t matter, he’s here, and he has to keep going.”