Southampton transfer news: Saints want to sign £12m star from Premier League rivals

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl standing on the touchline

Southampton have entered talks to sign Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden, as revealed by the Daily Mail.

What's the latest transfer news involving Hayden?

The 26-year-old still has five years remaining on his contract at Newcastle but Southampton appear to be ready to test the Magpies' resolve by trying to lure Hayden to the South Coast this summer.

It is understood that a deal for Hayden could include Mario Lemina moving in the opposite direction. Hayden is valued at £12m by his current employers, while Southampton are looking for £4m for Lemina.

How did Hayden fare in 2020/21?

Hayden's season was brought to a premature end when he picked up a knee injury in March. However, he still managed to make 24 appearances for Steve Bruce's men in the top-flight in 2020/21.

As per WhoScored, the 6 foot 1 midfielder completed 52 tackles and made 43 interceptions when in league action. None of his teammates were able to match these numbers, highlighting how Hayden played an important role for his side in the heart of the midfield.

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Did Hayden perform well against Southampton last season?

In February, Southampton travelled to St James' Park for a match that turned out to be a five-goal thriller.

Newcastle opened up a two-goal lead on two separate occasions but Southampton fought back both times. The hosts finished the game with nine men as Jeff Hendrick was sent off, while Fabian Schar picked up an injury after Newcastle had already made all of their substitutes.

They held on for a remarkable 3-2 win, though, and Hayden received praise for his display after the match by Match of the Day pundit Ian Wright.

As quoted by This is Futbol, Wright analysed Hayden's goal-line clearance during the game, saying: “Look at Hayden there, he realises [the] 'keeper is out of place and he goes on the line, great stuff; maybe Danny Ings could have hit that with the left foot, but Hayden, brilliant awareness to get himself on the line."

He then went on to hail Hayden's last-ditch interception later on the game, adding: “Hayden again, the key man here, this is right at the death now, and then there’s a touch there; it looks like he’s missed but that touch there (from Hayden) is just enough to help them win the game.”

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How many games did Southampton win in the Premier League last season?

Would Hayden be a good signing for Southampton?

As Hayden's statistics indicate, the former Arsenal man is not afraid to get involved in the thick of the action, and that could be exactly what Southampton need next term.

The Saints appeared to be a soft touch at times last year, conceding 68 goals in the Premier League. By adding Hayden to their ranks, this could ensure that the team have some greater protection in front of the back four.

It's also worth noting that Hayden dropped back to central defence on several occasions in 2020/21, demonstrating his versatility. 

If Southampton can tempt him to St Mary's he could give Ralph Hasenhuttl the option to switch up his formation at times, as Hayden is comfortable operating in front of a flat back four or playing as part of a back three.

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