Football

Arsenal manager praises teenage star

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Arsene Wenger has detailed his reasons for selecting teenager Isaac Hayden in his Arsenal squad for Tuesday evening's Capital One Cup encounter with Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium.

The 18-year-old midfielder made his senior debut for the club in the previous round of the competition against West Brom, during which the Gunners triumphed courtesy of a penalty shootout.

Hayden started that game alongside Mikel Arteta in the centre of the Arsenal midfield, and could find himself playing from the start once again when Chelsea make the short trip across London this week.

Arsenal will be without Arteta, who was sent off agains Crystal Palace on Saturday, and also Mathieu Flamini, who was injured in the same game, meaning Hayden is in with a shot of playing in the middle of the park.

The youngster impressed his manager with the tenacity he displayed during his outing at the Hawthorns, and Wenger believes Hayden has what it takes to marshall the Arsenal midfield.

"I like his strengths in the duels,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “I like his capacity of concentration and I believe as well that technically he is very focused to do well.

"He is committed and at half-time [in West Brom game] I told him to behave well because he was on a yellow card and he did that well in the second half.

"He is maybe not a creative player but everything he does is intelligent. I like his intelligence and all these qualities together makes me choose him."

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Arsenal

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