Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'No Regrets' for Hayden as He Focuses on Job in Hand; Hayden - No Regrets about Leaving the Gunners

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'No Regrets' for Hayden as He Focuses on Job in Hand; Hayden - No Regrets about Leaving the Gunners

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER Chief Newcastle United writer lee.ryder@reachplc.com @lee_ryder

ISAAC Hayden insists he wasn't hard done by at Arsenal - but admits his mind will be firmly on the job for Newcastle United on Monday night when he makes his return.

The midfielder left the Gunners in 2016 to join Newcastle as he felt the competition for places alongside Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil was too intense and agreed to join Rafa Benitez's Magpies.

Hayden is looking to leave United in the summer but was handed a second chance at St James' Park and hasn't looked back.

The 24-year-old is now looking forward to running at the Emirates Stadium and, asked whether he had any regrets, said: "No, not really.

"The way I see it is that when you're a young player coming through the youth Academy system at any club, it's all about your window of opportunity.

"You look at Sean Longstaff here... he came in and took his opportunity and he showed what he's capable of doing.

"He's performed well on the Premier League stage consistently. "It was similar circumstances for me, but I was the other way round. I got an opportunity and I got injured and was out for 10 months and the opportunity had gone.

"I don't really dwell on it or think about it - that's football.

"It's part of your football journey. "It wasn't meant to be and I've come to another great football club and that's that."

Hayden and the Magpies take on an Arsenal side who are fighting for Champions League football and also trying to win the Europa League.

But Hayden said: "It's always nice to go back to the Emirates.

"It's a bit different now, because they've changed the whole regime Turn to Page 51 FROM BACK PAGE and I don't know anybody at the club apart from one or two people.

"It'll be nice for family members to go to the game, but we're just going to try to get the three points. …

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