Arsenal youngster Isaac Hayden says playing at The Emirates for the first time was a “fantastic” experience, and the 19-year-old can’t wait for his next opportunity to grace the hallowed turf.
The centre back played all 90 minutes of last night’s 2-1 Capital One Cup defeat against in-form Southampton, and despite the loss the youngster could draw numerous positives from the game.
Hayden, who has appeared for England at all junior levels up until the age of under-20, told Arsenal’s Official Website:
Despite the result, it was obviously fantastic to play at the Emirates.
It’s the first time I’ve played in front of a home crowd which was good. I’ve been on the bench a few times so it was good to finally get on the pitch.
It’s a great starter, a great first taste and you want more of it. That’s the aim, you want to be playing at the highest level of professional football that you can.
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It was a good learning experience for me tonight, playing against Graziano Pelle who’s a very good forward. It’s good for me and Calum, both being 19, to learn against such good quality opposition.
Graziano’s a big strong guy but I did my best, that’s all I can do. Give 100 per cent each time I play for Arsenal.
Arsenal fielded a young team in the Capital One Cup, and Wenger’s decision turned into his side’s downfall as they succumbed to a more experienced opposition, who progressed thanks to a wonderful strike from right back Nathaniel Clyne.
Hayden will undoubtedly be looking to add to his debut, and with Arsenal’s injury crisis showing now sign of abating, the centre-half may be called into first team action again over the coming weeks.
What did you think of Isaac Hayden’s debut and Wenger’s decision to field a young team? Let us know by commenting below…