When Isaac Hayden rightly saw red during Newcastle's draw with Cardiff City, at the beginning of the season, many we had seen the last of the midfielder in a Newcastle United shirt.
The former Arsenal player has been a vital player for Newcastle since signing for the club. However, Hayden wants to be closer to his family and has made no secret in his desire to move on. Injuries coupled with a poor run of form, saw Hayden thrown back in the side.
Over the busy Christmas period, Hayden began to shine, again showing his importance to the side. Thankfully for Rafael Benitez, a transfer away from St. James' Park for Hayden did not materialise in January. Instead of showing his frustration, Hayden remained focussed on the rest of the season.
Hayden struck up a great partnership with youngster Sean Longstaff in central midfield. The partnership was one of the key reasons Newcastle avoided relegation.
Rafa Benitez praised the midfielder for his performances, the Newcastle manager talked up Hayden's chances of playing for England:
Hayden made 28 appearances in all competitions, providing 4 assists and scoring once. Hayden's ability to read the game and recover possession has been key a component in how Newcastle approach games.
Had the former Arsenal man, played to the level he showed from December onwards, at the start ofthe season, there is no doubt he would have been in contention for 'Player of the Season'.
It remains to be seen whether Hayden will remain on Tyneside, should the former Arsenal man move on, there will be a huge void left in midfield.