NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe’s summer clear out at Newcastle United has started, with the announcement that Isaac Hayden is joining newly relegated Norwich City.
The 27-year-old midfielder, whose six-years at St James’ Park makes him one of the Magpies’ longest-serving players, has signed for the Canaries on a season-long loan deal, which includes an obligation to buy if certain criteria are met. The details of those criteria have not been revealed by either club; however promotion back to the Premier League, which Norwich achieved in 2021 at the first time of asking last time around, is a likely deal trigger.
Hayden’s exit represents an early success in the marketplace for Newcastle’s incoming sporting director, Dan Ashworth, whose appointment was ratified last week and announced on Monday.
In a statement, the club said: “Newcastle United midfielder Isaac Hayden has joined Championship side Norwich City on a season-long loan. The Canaries will have an obligation to make the deal permanent should specific performance-related criteria be met throughout the 2022/23 season.
“The 27-year-old joins Dean Smith’s side after fully recovering from a long-term injury which saw him miss out on a place in Eddie Howe’s 25-man Premier League squad for the latter part of last season.
“Following relegation to the Championship in May, the Canaries will be aiming to make an immediate return to the top flight – something they have achieved as champions in both the 2018/19 and 2020/21 campaigns.”
It continued: “Hayden joined the Magpies from Arsenal in 2016 and was a key figure as Rafa Benitez’s side won the Championship title and subsequently consolidated its position back in the Premier League.
“He has made 171 appearances in all competitions in his six years at St. James’ Park, scoring seven goals. Everyone at Newcastle United wishes Isaac the best of luck for the new season.”
Hayden explained the reasons for his move during an interview with the official Norwich City website.
“I am here to try to help the team get back to the Premier League,” he said. “The facilities at the training ground are great and changed significantly from when I have visited before. I’ve also looked at our squad and I want to add to that.
“The head coach (Dean Smith) was a big factor for me. He called me straight away and saw that I was out of the picture at Newcastle. I had spoken to him a few times before and he always struck me as somebody who was trying to do the right things.”
Hayden’s exit is expected to be the first of many at United in the weeks ahead as Howe looks to make space for new signings, of which up to six are expected.
The likes of Karl Darlow and Dwight Gayle, both of whom have attracted the interest of Championship side Middlesbrough, Ciaran Clark, who is likely to join West Bromwich Albion, Jeff Hendrick and Federico Fernandez are all expected to depart before the new season starts in August.
Meanwhile, hopes remain high that United will make a breakthrough of their own in the transfer market as negotiations with Reims striker Hugo Ekitike continue.