Norwich City were relegated straight back down to the EFL Championship after just a single season in the Premier League, where they finished bottom of the table. Their record stood at just five wins, seven draws and 26 losses and a goal difference of -61. This season will be Norwich’s fifth consecutive year where they will alternate between the Premier League and the Championship. However, the Canaries will be aiming for promotion once again. They have beefed up the midfield by adding Newcastle United’s Isaac Hayden on loan as they look to get straight back up.
Hayden played 14 matches for Newcastle United in the 2021-22 Premier League season where he totalled 1,001 minutes prior to his knee surgery break from January to April this year. He scored once for the Magpies during his time on the pitch. He may have taken only 0.41 shots per 90, but he generated an xG per shot of 0.13 which put him in the top quintile for midfielders. The Englishman managed to complete 76.19% of his take-ons in the entire season. He also won more than 57% of his offensive duels which, like xG per shot, ranked him in the upper quintile.
Despite being a midfielder, Hayden ranked below average in all the passing and progression categories. In the vast majority of these categories including passes per 90, pass accuracy and xA per 90, to name a few, he ranked near or in the bottom quartile. While this may sound discouraging, one can expect these to go up, either slightly or dramatically, in the EFL Championship with Norwich.
The defence was, by far, Hayden’s best-performing area last season. He was involved in more than 12 defensive actions per 90 and won 75.17% of these actions. Standing at 187 cm, he attempted just over three aerial duels per 90 and had a success rate of 55.26%, the latter ranking him in the upper quintile. The Englishman was placed in the 96th percentile for loose ball duels won, with 56.41% to his name. He also made 4.39 interceptions per 90 and 6.59 recoveries per 90.
Hayden was most active and influential in the area between the defensive third and midfield. His defensive presence ensured the full-backs can advance forward whenever necessary. He attempted 17.5 pressures per 90, 4.86 tackles and interceptions per 90, 2.7 clearances per 90 and 1.98 blocks per 90.
Even after his knee surgery, Isaac Hayden did not play a single minute at Newcastle United as he was usurped by Bruno Guimarães in the centre of the park. With a move to Norwich, he has a chance to revive his career in the second tier of English football. His aim will be to perform well and lead the Canaries straight back to promotion this season.