Newcastle United midfielder Isaac Hayden admitted he’s relishing next season’s Premier League fixtures against Arsenal, the side he played for between 2008 and 2016.

Hayden left Arsenal for Newcastle for £2m last summer and played an important role in helping Rafa Benitez’s side win promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Unsurprisingly then, Hayden admitted he initially looked at the Toon’s fixtures against Arsenal when the fixture list for 2017/18 was released earlier this month, and he can’t wait for a return.

That is the first fixture that I was going to look for, home and away. It’s a hard one. I still have a place in my heart for Arsenal, because I was there for eight years. It was a massive part of my development and a massive part of me as a person,” Hayden was quoted as saying by Sunderland Echo.

Arsenal host Newcastle at the Emirates on December 16, while the return clash on Tyneside is scheduled to be played on April 14.

Hayden briefly spoke about his positive memories in north London, before admitting he’s keen for victories against them next term.

I can never forget that, and I have got a lot to thank them for in terms of the staff and players, everybody that was there. But come next season, hopefully we can do the double over them. There would be nothing better than doing that, I can tell you that now.

We wrote last month about Hayden’s eagerness to make an impression on the Premier League after not being given his opportunity in previous years at Arsenal. He’s clearly fired up to perform next season.