We knew when Isaac Hayes joined Newcastle from Arsenal in the summer he could play at center-back, right-back or in central midfield and Rafa signed him as a central midfield player where he’s so far played 15 times for the Newcastle first team this season.
However, last night he played at right back and got his second cap for the England U-21 side against Italy and in a good game England came out on top by a score of 3-2 with a late winner, after we had gone ahead after only six minutes.
Isaac looked like he had played right-back all his life and had an impressive game in what was for him an an unfamiliar position at St. Mary’s Stadium in Southampton.
Isaac Hayden and Italy’s Antonio Barreca challenge for the ball
The England goals came from Leicester City’s Demarai Gray, Chelsea’s Lewis Baker, and a very late winner from Southampton’s Jack Stephens.
England have already qualified for next year’s U-21 European Championships and this was a game of preparation for that important upcoming tournament.
Aidy Boothroyd, the interim manager had this to say after the game:
“It is a good record and we have managed to qualify six times on the spin.”
“But what we have to do now is do as well at the tournament. That’s the Holy Grail, isn’t it?”
“If we can do then we’ll be in a good place.” “It had all started so promisingly.”
The 21-year-old Newcastle player is so talented he can play in a lot of different positions and it wouldn’t surprise us too much if Rafa gives him the attacking central midfield role, if Jonjo Shelvey is suspended for 5 games by the FA next week.
Rafa has said before that Isaac can play in that role for Newcastle and can be a creative player for us.
One thing is certain – he’s been a great buy for Newcastle for only £2.5M and he was playing along a number of Premier League regulars last night and didn’t look out of place at all.
Sunderland winger Whatmore got on late in the game for England.
England U21s (4-2-3-1): Gunn : Hayden, Chambers, Stephens, Galloway: Chalobah, Ward-Prowse: Redmond, Swift (Hughes 30 mins), Baker (Abraham 77 mins): Gray (Watmore 71 mins)
Subs: Mitchell, Iorfa, Hughes, Hause, Watmore, Grealish, Abraham, Loftus-Cheek, Mawson, Winks
Goals: Gray 6, Baker 60, Stephens 94
Italy U21s: Gollini, Conti, Barreca, Mazzitelli, Biraschi, Caldara, Pellegrini, Benassi, Petagna, Ricci, Di Francesco
Subs: Cragno, Ferrari, Grassi, Somma, Cristante, Masina, Parigini, Garritano, Cerri, Rosseti, Vitturini, Capezzi
Goals: Conti 14, Di Francesco 29