By Dominic Toner

Isaac Hayden believes that Newcastle can still raise their recent performances.

They have been unbeaten so far during pre-season and have just one fixture left against Dutch outfit Vitesse, before they open their Championship season against Fulham on 5 August.

Hayden completed a move from Arsenal this summer to St James’ Park and is targeting a midfielder anchorman role despite being capable of playing as a defender.

The Gunners’ trainee made 24 Championship appearances for Steve Bruce’s Hull side last season as The Tigers gained promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Manager Rafael Benitez will be hoping that Hayden can use this experience to guide the Magpies to a similar outcome.

As well as making two appearances for Arsene Wenger’s side, Hayden has played his way through England’s youth ranks up to the under-20 level.

Benitez has also added Premier League stars Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle for £10million each, whilst Blackburn captain Grant Hanley joined for £5.5million.

Belgian goalkeeper Matz Sels put pen to paper for £5million, whilst Arsenal’s Atletico Madrid’s Champions League defender Jesus Gamez will look to beef up the Magpies’ defence.

The former Liverpool manager is desperate to return the North East side to the Premier League after last season’s relegation, and The Mirror reported that Benitez has most recently been linked with Tottenham playmaker Alex Pritchard.

In other Newcastle team news, a young defender is ready to take on the position previously held by Alan Shearer.