Newcastle Unitedmanager Eddie Howe has explained the reason for the omission of midfielder Isaac Hayden from the 25-man Premier League squad for the rest of the season.

Howe explained the omission of the Arsenal Academy graduate in his pre-match press conference on Monday morning ahead of the crucial home game against Everton in the Premier League. According to him, Hayden suffered a long-term knee injury in December and that played a big part in his exclusion from the Premier League squad for the second half of the current season. His spot in the team has been taken by fellow midfielder Bruno Guimares who arrived at the club officially just before the winter transfer window closed last week. The Magpies paid an initial fee of €40m plus €8m in add-ons to sign the Brazil international from Lyon in the French Ligue 1.

Hayden was not the only first-team player left out of the 25-man Newcastle United squad for the rest of the Premier League season this term. Two more players were also dropped from the Premier League squad and they are Ciaran Clark and Jamal Lewis.

Newcastle United paid around £13.5m to sign Lewis from Norwich City at the start of last season and he won’t play again for the club this season. Howe said that Lewis missed out due to a groin problem as he said that the Northern Irishman has been managing the issue for a year. His place in the 25-man squad was taken by English player Matt Targett who joined Newcastle United on loan from Aston Villa on deadline day of last month’s winter transfer window.

Lewis signed for the Magpies in the summer of 2020 shortly after Norwich City suffered demotion to the English Championship from the Premier League. He was linked with a move to Trabzonspor in the Turkish Super League over the past couple of days. He has six appearances for the Magpies this season including five Premier League outings.