Why West Ham have missed a trick by not signing Isaac Hayden
After months of waiting, West Ham and Manchester City faced off at the London Stadium last Saturday in the opening fixture of their respective Premier League campaigns.
West Ham came into the fixture full of enthusiasm and energy following a positive pre-season and summer transfer window in which they made some exciting signings. Despite the gusto, the Hammers were ripped apart by the reigning champions in front of their own fans.
Pep Guardiola’s side oozed class, turning defence into attack in an instant and ripping West Ham into shreds. But if this game is anything to go by, the hosts’ midfield was completely dominated by the likes of Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva.
The Hammers have had issues with the reliability of their central midfielders and did not address that when the transfer market was in full swing.
Last season, the club had brought in Carlos Sanchez and Jack Wilshere for the midfield spots. However, both spent the majority of the 2018/19 season on the sidelines and Manuel Pellegrini had to largely rely on the likes of Declan Rice and Mark Noble.
Rice was one of West Ham’s consistent performers, partnering Noble in the middle of the park. Noble did well but also showed signs of age catching him up.
The skipper is still a decent option to have but having lost Pedro Obiang in the summer, Pellegrini has made a big mistake of not improving his midfield options.
Back in June, a report from Football.London had claimed that West Ham were interested in signing Newcastle United midfielder Isaac Hayden, who wanted a move away from St. James’ Park.
He previously suggested that he wanted to move down south, with West Ham thought to be an appealing move for the midfielder. However, a move didn’t materialise and the 24-year-old has stayed with Newcastle.
And on Sunday, Isaac Hayden showed his worth for the Magpies in an otherwise disappointing 1-0 defeat against Arsenal at St. James’ Park. The combative midfielder is an absolute workhorse and was effective in central midfield for the hosts, showing what West Ham have missed.
The Englishman gave very little space for Arsenal’s midfielders to dictate the flow of the game and always looked to intercept their attacks.
By staying put at Newcastle, Hayden has given a huge boost for Steve Bruce, as the former Arsenal man was one of his side’s most impressive players towards the back end of last season when Rafael Benitez was in charge.
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On the flip side, however, West Ham have made a big mistake by not signing Hayden, who would have been the ideal player to partner Rice in central midfield this season.