Darren Bent gushed about Newcastle United midfielder Isaac Hayden and suggested that Magpies supporters may not appreciate him enough.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the former Sunderland attacker explained that Hayden was one of those players who was more appreciated by his teammates rather than the Toon Army.
Bent suggested that fans didn’t quite see what Hayden’s teammates saw in him, and claimed it was great to see the midfield enforcer back in action during the 3-2 win over West Ham on Saturday.
Hayden returned to the Magpies starting line-up against the Hammers after missing their previous three league games due to suspension after being sent-off in the 5-0 loss to Leicester City.
Bent heaped praise on the midfielder for being a big physical presence in midfield for the Magpies and pointed out he was the player who normally put his body in the way or made vital tackles to stop his side being caught on the counter-attack.
When asked if Hayden was underrated as he seems to make a big difference to the Magpies’ midfield defensively, Bent told Football Insider: “He’s one of those players where the guys in the dressing room probably appreciate him more than the fans do.
“Cause you’re right, he’s a big physical presence in there, he’s the stop-gap when the other side counter-attacks as he’ll put his body in the way and make tackles.
“Essentially he was missing for them previously, I’ve played for sides where in the dressing room there’s a player who we really appreciated what he’s doing, but the fans don’t quite see what we see.
“But yeah it was great to have him back.”
Hayden has been at St James Park since joining from Arsenal in 2016 and has made a total of 104 appearances for the club so far.
The 24-year-old’s Magpies deal is set to expire in June 2021, but the Chronicle previously reported that Steve Bruce’s side were in talks with the midfielder about a possible new contract.
In other Newcastle United news, it can be REVEALED that the Magpies conducted a transfer mission during Leeds United’s 2-0 win over QPR.