Isaac Hayden’s ready for the biggest season of his career.
The Newcastle United midfielder is looking forward to finally getting a chance in the Premier League.
Hayden left Arsenal last summer without having played a league game for the club.
And the 22-year-old – who scored in promoted United’s 2-0 win over Cardiff City on Friday night – feels he has “a point to prove” to himself.
Hayden is looking to help title-chasing Newcastle, a point behind Championship leaders Brighton and Hove Albion with one game left to play, end the season on a high against Barnsley on Sunday before returning to Tyneside well-rested for the new Premier League campaign.
“Maybe this is the biggest summer I have had,” said Hayden, who helped loan club Hull City win promotion last season.
I have a point to prove to myself, I know I am capable of playing Premier League football, and hopefully that will be next season.Isaac Hayden
“Last summer I went back to Arsenal and I knew I wasn’t going to be staying there, so it was a bit of frustrating summer after promotion last season with Hull.
“I wanted to make sure I was playing football, and it’s not easy when you know you might have to leave, especially when the club doesn’t want you to go initially.
“I didn’t get much of a summer holiday last time because of the play-offs.
“And then I had to go back to pre-season early. I was back in June, not even July.
“This summer it will be nice to have a bit of a break.”
Hayden – who was congratulated by Arsenal after on Twitter after helping Newcastle secure promotion, left the Emirates Stadium frustrated that he hadn’t been given “more of a chance” by manager Arsene Wenger.
And he’s keen to make up for lost time in the top flight next season with Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle.
“I was very frustrated with my time at Arsenal,” said the England Under-21 international.
“I felt I deserved more of a chance and I got an injury at a key time. You need to take advantage of small windows.
“I have a point to prove to myself, I know I am capable of playing Premier League football, and hopefully that will be next season.”
Hayden scored Newcastle’s second goal at the Cardiff City Stadium, where Christian Atsu also found the net.
“The last time I scored was against Reading at the beginning of the season, this was a nice goal, nice to get on the scoresheet, a left foot swinger,” he said.
“But I think the most important thing was playing in the system. It was more of a 4-1-4-1 formation and I wanted to learn that, that was pleasing.”
United’s players were finally able to book their holidays last week after the club secured promotion a week ago.
“You have to wait before you book your holidays because you don’t want to, or plan in your head, when things aren’t done properly,” said Hayden.
“The only time you can really do that is in a week’s time or whatever when you are promoted.
“None of the lads had booked their holidays. We all knew we had to get the job done first.
“We all wanted to get the wins to get over the line, I’m pretty sure when we did get over the line there were a few lads rushing out to book their holidays!
“Even then, the next day, we went back to training and had to be focused for the Cardiff, and we will be preparing for the Barnsley game as well.
“We are all professionals we want to win them all.”