Journalist reveals the midfielders on Rafa’s radar to replace Isaac Hayden – One name stands out

The Chronicle’s Chris Waugh has revealed some of the midfielders Rafa Benitez may be considering as he attempts to replace Isaac Hayden – with the likes of Badou Ndiaye, Thiago Maia, Clement Grenier and Giannelli Imbula all named as potential targets.

This comes after some surprise news yesterday confirmed a homesick Isaac Hayden has handed in a transfer request at NUFC, with the 23-year-old now attracting interest from Brighton – who are willing to pay an alleged £10m to take him back down south this summer.

Unfortunately for us, this creates a potential hole in our squad, and the Chronicle have released a piece on the midfielders options Benitez could sign in his place.

Out of the four realistic options mentioned, Stoke’s Badou Ndiaye seems the most plausible to me.

Grenier could be a very shrewd addition IF he stays fit -being a tempting prospect after claims in France that he’s available for just €3m – however his fitness issues make a move for him quite an unreliable one.

As Chris confirms, Ndiaye has been scouted by NUFC in the past – with Rafa said to have been ‘impressed by the feedback’ he received – and you’d think he’d be available for little over £10m (the surprise fee we’re expected to receive for Hayden) given Stoke’s relegation.

Ndiaye’s teamate Giannelli Imbula and Lille’s Thiago Maia are also two who are mentioned as potentials, but I’ve got a feeling about Ndiaye given our previous interest, his eagerness to stay in England and the fact he looked anything but out of place in the Premier League since joining Stoke from Galatasaray in January.

The likes of Danny Drinkwater, Stefan Sturaro and Ruben Loftus Cheek were also mentioned in this piece by the Chronicle, but Waugh suggests that all three seem unlikely to replace Hayden given the hefty price tags they’re all likely to demand.

Who would you like to see us sign in Hayden’s place folks?

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

2 thoughts on “Journalist reveals the midfielders on Rafa’s radar to replace Isaac Hayden – One name stands out

  1. ‘Ndiaye, you’d think, would be available for a little over £10m’ – As Stoke paid £14m for him not so long ago, I don’t think they would consider much less than £20m – it’s not as if they are short of a bob or two. Maybe they would consider Gayle + £2m? 😉


  2. All of them are going to be north of what the budget (ie Ashley) will allow and Rafa surely needs to accumulate funds for a striker. It really is about time NUFC started to take their own development squad seriously enough to consider promoting from within. Of course, there is no upside in such an approach for Ashley, unless he sells them on almost straight away. So you are damned if you do (promote from within and then loses them in Ashley’s sales) and damned if you don’t (send the juniors out on loan, bring in a new face from the bargain bin for maybe 3-6M and watch them sitting on the bench achieving virtually nothing for the team, perhaps even doing a Saivet or Colback).
    No. Rafa won’t replace Hayden with anyone who will get the pace beating, but either an old journeyman with experience (like a certain Murphy no gone) or a young lad with the perennially unfulfilled potential (like another Murphy, apparently still on the books, …anyone seen him?).


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