Isaac Hayden leaves Arsenal to join Newcastle United on five-year deal

Arsenal have sold young defender Isaac Hayden to Newcastle United for an undisclosed fee, with Magpies manager Rafa Benitez hoping to develop the player's "fantastic potential."

Hayden, 21, signed a five-year deal and has already joined the team on their preseason camp in Ireland.

The versatile defender made just two senior appearances for the Gunners -- both in the League Cup -- after coming through the youth ranks at the London club.

However, after spending last season on loan at Hull City and helping Steve Bruce's side earn promotion back to the Premier League, Hayden hopes to do the same for his new club.

"Newcastle is a massive football club and to be given the opportunity to come here and progress my career is fantastic," Hayden told the club's official website. "Being at Arsenal was a great experience, I learnt a lot there and have a lot to thank them for, but I needed to move on and so when Newcastle came in for me I jumped at the chance.

"I am still young but I want to get as many games under my belt as I can and help the team bounce back to the Premier League."

Hayden can play either as a centre-back or a holding midfielder and is known for his strong physical presence, as well as good composure with his passing. He joined the Arsenal academy in 2008 and has represented England at under-20 level, but never became part of Arsene Wenger's first-team plans.

Newcastle are beginning their first full season under Benitez, who was unable to prevent the club from being relegated to the Championship after taking over in March. The Spaniard said Hayden fits the mould of the type of player the club needs in order to rebuild.

"We continue with our plan to bring in players who are hungry to succeed and prove themselves, which Isaac really is," Benitez said. "He is also a player who can play in different positions, which is very useful.

"Isaac is a young, strong English player with fantastic potential but also with some experience already of the Championship. We welcome him to the club."

Arsenal added on their official website: "We thank Isaac for his contribution to the club and wish him well in his future career."