Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden is prepared to open talks over a new contract, just 12 months after requesting a move away from St James' Park.
The 24-year-old was initially keen to leave the club for personal reasons, but a change of circumstances, as well as a number of consistent on-field performances, have turned around what had looked like a previously unretrievable situation.
An interview with The Times in March had previously revealed his unrest at the club, with Hayden opening up at the time that 2018 had been his worst experience as a professional footballer.
“After coming out publicly saying I wanted a transfer to getting sent off, I was at the lowest of lows," Hayden had said. "It reflected where I was mentally. It just highlighted everything I was feeling, compounding the misery. When I look back on it now, 2018 as a whole was just terrible.”
Now, the former Arsenal trainee is in a different head space - and after performing superbly towards the back end of last season, has won over the club's supporters, who chanted his name on the final day of the season.
Thank you for everything over the last 3 years, you brought me to the club and had the faith in me to develop me as a player and person. It won’t be forgotten. All the best for the future! @rafabenitezweb #NUFC pic.twitter.com/BeLWqnn1FE— Isaac Hayden (@IsaacHayden65) June 24, 2019
In a new interview with The Athletic, Hayden admits that he's prepared to sit down with the club, as well as new manager Steve Bruce, and talk about extending his stay on Tyneside.
“It was quite easy for me in the end, to be honest,” he stated. “I got told quite early on what the score was, so I pretty much knew before I came back for pre-season what was going to happen. I accepted it.”
“I want to commit because it’s the right thing to do, because the club is going in the right direction and because the club value me in a certain way. There has to be a continuous goal to improve."
“It’s nice working with Steve again because I know what he’s about. Rafa was great for me and I learned so much from him but when any new manager comes in, you always want to try and do your best for him.
"You want to keep improving under them, learn new things, progress, and help the team win.”