It is always a wrench when a long-serving youngster leaves the club, but, in the case of Isaac Hayden, the signs had been apparent for some time.
The prospect, 21, has signed for Championship side Newcastle United on a five-year deal and will surely benefit from stepping up to senior football on a regular basis.
A player who was highly thought of by manager Arsene Wenger, Hayden made two competitive appearances for the Arsenal first-team, both of which came in the Capital One Cup, while he also featured in several friendly fixtures.
For the past couple of years, however, it has been apparent that Hayden wasn’t going to succeed in the long-term at Arsenal, with the arrival of Krystian Bielik pushing him further down the pecking order in both defence and midfield.
Hayden joined Arsenal as a schoolboy in 2008 and went on to sign scholarship terms three years later. Efficient at breaking up play, he is occasionally guilty of making rash challenges.
After impressing for the U18s under the guidance of Steve Bould, Hayden proceeded to become a prominent player for Arsenal at U21 level and also featured heavily in the UEFA Youth League.
First-team recognition soon followed and he was eventually sent out on loan to Hull City, where he showed glimpses of his potential even though he wasn’t able to command a regular place in the side.
Now Hayden has left Arsenal on a permanent basis and hopefully he will be able to succeed in the next chapter of his career.