Isaac Hayden believes the time he spent with Arsenal training with some of the big players has helped him become the player he is today at Newcastle but also feels that injury robbed him of his chance in London.
Hayden arrived at Arsenal as a kid and came through the youth ranks but was sold to the Magpies during the summer for £2.5m when Wenger confirmed that he could not guarantee the player any minutes.
“He couldn’t get the chance here and I decided to let him go and have an opportunity,” the boss said back in July
“At 21 years of age, you need to play or you stand still – and if you stand still you waste your career.
“He’s very intelligent and very good physically as well, he has good strength.”
Now, Hayden himself has been speaking about what he got from being at Arsenal and how his injury might have cost him his chance.
“I did my right ankle – the ligaments and a micro-fracture,” he said.
“From there I didn’t play again for Arsenal, and to think it was just an unfortunate tackle with Flamini.
“It was an awkward challenge, nothing malicious.
“So that was the chance when I could have broken into the first team.
“Just at that moment, when there was a gap, I was out for eight months.
“When I came back Francis Coquelin had broken in and was doing really well.
“I knew then when I went on loan to Hull last season that I was done, I wouldn’t play for Arsenal.
“After that it was about getting the right club.
“When you train with some of the best players in the world, you’re only going to improve.
“During my time at Arsenal, I managed to train with quite a few big players – Van Persie, Nasri, Sanchez, Ozil, Cazorla. Even Thierry Henry was training with us a few times.
“They’re all really good lads as well and would always help you through things.”
Hayden has 24 appearances for Newcastle in the Championship this season, scoring one goal and creating two.