Newcastle Chronicle reporter Chris Waugh believes Magpies versatile midfielder Isaac Hayden's future is set to lie away from St. James Park. Waugh claims Rafa Benitez is now ‘struggling to trust him’ after his poor performances and after he put in a transfer request over the summer.
Newcastle United boss Benitez is known to like players that he can rely on, often players with ill-discipline have struggled to get game time - Aleksandar Mitrovic being a prime example of that. It seems that Hayden's recent ill-discipline has meant that he has fallen out of favour with the Spaniard.
Speaking after The Chronicle's most recent Q&A session, Waugh had this to say about the midfielder when asked about his future at the club:
"Hayden has gone backwards this year. Following a promising debut Premier League campaign, the 23-year-old has been affected by personal circumstance and handed in a transfer request during the summer.
"The want-away midfielder has only played 111 minutes of football this season, received a silly red card against Cardiff City, and seemingly Benitez is struggling to trust him."
There is a considerable lack of depth in central midfield for the Magpies this season, a position that you'd think Benitez will want to strengthen in January. With only Hayden and South Korean international Ki Sung Yueng as backup to the first choice pairing of Mohammed Diame and Jonjoe Shelvey, shows they will have to invest in this area soon.
Benitez has, on a couple of occasions picked an unsettled Hayden over Ki, which suggests even more so that Ki has struggled to hit the ground running since his free transfer from Swansea City in the summer.
There is a clear need for the Magpies to sign some quality and competition in the middle of the park, or it could be a long season on Tyneside. However, with Mike Ashley as the owner, finding and securing targets could be easier said than done.