By Nik Brumsack
Isaac Hayden hopes his versatility will help him to break into the Arsenal Under-21 side this season.
Despite featuring primarily as a centre half last season, the 17-year-old was deployed in central midfield during an Arsenal XI's 6-2 win at Chesham United on Saturday.
Hayden enjoyed the experience and insists he is happy to play in any position if it helps him make his breakthrough this term.
"I started out as a central midfielder and it's only recently that I've been moved to centre back," he told Arsenal.com.
"I don't mind if I play at the back or in midfield because I enjoy both positions. The main thing is that I want to play and get as many minutes as possible under my belt."
After captaining the Under-18s and signing his first professional deal last season, the ambitious youngster is now keen to make his mark on the Under-21 side.
"I grew up supporting Arsenal so it made signing for the Club extra special - it meant so much to me," Hayden said. "Now my aim is to do my best, work hard and progress as much as I can.
"I want to break into the Under-21 team and get some more training with the first team under my belt. I want to get into the manager's thinking and just go from there.
"Being captain is one of my main objectives when I play for a team. I relish the responsibility. Hopefully, if I can keep up my good work I might even be able to skipper the Under-21s."
As well as enjoying a successful 2011/12 season at domestic level, Hayden made nine appearances for the England Under-17 team, an experience which he found invaluable.
"I really enjoy being away with the national side," he said. "Playing against teams from different cultures that perhaps play in a different style has been good for me.
"I'm sure that what I've learnt while away with England will help me to become a better player in the future."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 8 Aug 2012