Hayden - 'How Meeting Rafa Made My Mind Up'
Written by Newcastle Utd
New boy Isaac Hayden on two of the big factors behind his decision to move to Newcastle United
By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor
Isaac Hayden has revealed how Rafa Benitez persuaded him to join Newcastle United from Arsenal.
The 21-year-old, who has played for England at every age group up to under-20 level and who helped Hull City win promotion to the Premier League while on loan at the KC Stadium last term, was a man in demand this summer.
But when Magpies boss Benitez travelled to meet Hayden last month, the young midfielder's mind was made up - and on Monday morning, he officially became Newcastle's latest recruit.
"I met him in London in the middle of June and we had a good, two-hour long conversation," Hayden told nufcTV. "He explained a few things to me, what to improve and what I'm good at.
"It was good to know he's obviously been watching my games and things like that. For me, as soon as that meeting was done, I knew that this was the only place for me to come and (he is) the only manager I want to play under and learn from.
"It was brilliant. He was talking to me about tactical things, things that he'd learnt in the past - everything. So for me to have that initially was massive, and as soon as I left that meeting I knew that this was the right place for me to come.
"To meet him like that was fantastic and to work under him now is going to be even better and I think that the main thing I got from that meeting is I'm 100 per cent going to be a better player. I'm going to learn a lot from him while he's my manager so it was a no-brainer to come here."
It's not just Benitez who Hayden is looking forward to playing for, either.
"All of the stories I've heard about the fans have been fantastic," he smiled. "They come out in their thousands which is what you want to see, and to get the opportunity to play in front of them and show them what I'm capable of and play with the passion that I know they like, I think we'll get on great."