Isaac Hayden is ready to tackle the Championship with Newcastle United – after “honing” his defensive skills at Arsene Wenger’s insistence.
The summer signing made his debut in the 1-0 defeat to Fulham a week ago.
I’ve signed here for a long period of time, and if I can help the team, whatever position it is, I’ll do so.Isaac Hayden
And the midfielder will make his competitive home debut against Huddersfield Town tomorrow.
Hayden, fielded in his preferred defensive midfield position, impressed at Craven Cottage.
The 21-year-old was moved into defence as a teenager by Arsenal manager Wenger.
The England Under-20 international feels his time at centre-half will help him establish himself in Rafa Benitez’s United midfield.
“When I was growing up, (aged) about 18 or 19, the manager at Arsenal pushed me back to centre-back so I could hone my defensive skills,” said Hayden.
“It wasn’t necessarily that he could see me there in the future, it was about working on my defensive skills as well as attacking skills.
“At that moment in time, he thought it was best for me to play further back.
“I’ve signed here for a long period of time, and if I can help the team, whatever position it is, I’ll do so.
“Hopefully, that’s in my preferred position in central midfield.”
Hayden – who spent last season in the Championship with Hull City – has no regrets about leaving Arsenal.
Speaking after he signed for United, Hayden said: “It’s a shame at Arsenal I never really got a chance to show what I was capable of, but, for me, Newcastle is a massive club. As soon as I got the opportunity, I took it with both hands.”