Some impressive stats have emerged from the Chronicle, highlighting just how integral Isaac Hayden has been following his unforeseen breakthrough into Benitez’s side in 2019.
He wanted out for personal reasons over the last two windows and was seen as our 5th choice midfielder just a few months ago, but he’s knuckled down, made 15 consecutive league starts since Boxing Day and now seems undroppable.
Fans have appreciated the shift he’s put in over the past few months, however the following stats highlight just how good he’s been:
No player has attempted or won more tackles than him in 2019, with him attempting (57) and winning (34) – numbers that are only bettered by just FOUR other Premier League players in 2019. Matt Ritchie ranks 2nd for attempted tackles, yet his total of 29 (almost half Hayden’s 57) shows how combative the 24-year-old has been.
Then to distance covered – a stat which perfectly illustrates a player’s work rate – and Hayden has covered 177km, a total higher than any other Newcastle player and one that ranks him at 7th across the entire division this year. In addition, he’s also made more recoveries (83) than any other outfield player at the club this season.
As Andrew Musgrove’s piece for the Chronicle also reveals, his use of the ball can’t unnoticed either, with him ranking 3rd for most passes this year (behind only Ritchie and Lejeune), with a pass completion rate of over 79% also making him our 2nd most accurate distributor.
Not only that, his goal at Wolves helped us earn a point at Molineux, while he also weighed in with THREE assists in just five games at St James’ Park to help us earn wins over Cardiff, Man City and Huddersfield.
He may have cost us in our early-season draw at Cardiff, seeing red for a reckless challenge from behind, but to say he’s more than made up for that is an understatement.