Southampton transfers: Saints eye move for versatile £12m ace - The Verdict

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl giving the thumbs-up

Southampton want to sign Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden, as revealed by the Daily Mail.

It is understood that the Saints have already held discussions with Newcastle about the possibility of signing Hayden, who is believed to be valued at around £12m by the Magpies.

The deal could include Mario Lemina moving in the opposite direction - Southampton feel he is worth £4m.

Hayden only signed a long-term deal recently, which was set to keep him on Tyneside until 2026. However, if Southampton get their way, he may end up moving to the South Coast less than a year after putting pen to paper on his new contract at St James' Park.

Would Hayden be a good signing for Southampton?

GIVEMESPORT's Sam Brookes, Jonathan Gorrie and Joshua Cole give their thoughts below...

Sam Brookes

"Hayden is an underrated talent.

"He rarely grabs the headlines but it is worth noting that he made more tackles (52) and more interceptions (43) than any of his teammates at Newcastle in the Premier League in 2020/21 (via WhoScored). This shows how he is happy to do his side's dirty work.

"This could see him make a significant impact at Southampton, who were far too easy to break down last season, as they conceded 68 top-flight goals.

"The 26-year-old also demonstrated his versatility over the past 12 months by dropping into a back three on numerous occasions, and this could offer Ralph Hasenhuttl some tactical flexibility next term as Hayden's arrival may allow him to continue with his favoured four-man midfield or to change things up and play three at the back at times if Plan A isn't working."

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Jonathan Gorrie

"Isaac Hayden has proven himself to be a reliable Premier League player during his time at Newcastle.

"A solid, versatile defensive-minded stalwart, his exploits on Tyneside would suggest he'd be a good signing for most mid-table Premier League sides.

"Still, crazy as it may sound, Mario Lemina might actually be a better option.

"Granted, the Gabonese star hasn't played for the club in years so the idea of seeing him feature seems remote at best. Still, with Hayden valued at £12m, trying to integrate him back into the side might be a prudent move financially.

"Last season, he recorded more interceptions and ball recoveries than Hayden (via FBREF) while also proving to be a much better presser, recording a much higher success rate on that front (33.1% to 24.8%).

"It'd be a bold move for Southampton to bring him back but, in a post-pandemic market, it could make sense."

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Joshua Cole

"Although it is fair to say that Southampton need to make some drastic changes to their squad this summer following a disappointing 2020/21 campaign, they must resist the temptation to sign Isaac Hayden from Newcastle.

"Whereas the Magpies man does possess a wealth of experience at this level having played over 100 games in the top-flight, it could be argued that he may struggle for game-time at St Mary's Stadium next season due to the presence of James Ward-Prowse and Oriol Romeu.

"Both of these players averaged significantly better WhoScored match ratings in the Premier League (7.07 and 6.93) compared to Hayden (6.67) as they formed a fruitful partnership in the heart of midfield.

"Instead of making a move for the former Arsenal man, Southampton ought to switch their focus to drafting up a list of potential replacements for Danny Ings who has recently been heavily linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur."

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