The midfielder is currently on loan at Hull City, but is targeting a place in the Gunners' first team squad in future.
The 20-year-old midfielder is currently on loan with Steve Bruce’s side for the season, having spent all of his time so far with the Gunners in their youth system.
He did not start with Arsene Wenger’s side though; with his first club being Southend United before the Premier League side noticed his potential and moved to sign him.
Manchester United were also interested, although according to him it was never a competition given that Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira was the man he modelled himself on.
"They were my team growing up because my idol was Patrick Vieira. I always watched his game and studied what he did,” he told the Hull Daily Mail.
"As soon as I got the nod, and the choice between Manchester United and Arsenal, it was an easy decision. I said 'Drive me there now!' as soon as I knew they were interested. It felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Steve Bould provides pathway to the first team
The midfielder is not the only Arsenal graduate on the books with the Tigers this season, with striker Chuba Akpom also having joined them on loan as they seek to escape the Championship once again.
The duo have been together for some time, having started in the under-14s and rising through both the club’s and England’s youth ranks, as well as being in the Arsenal first team squad at the same time.
They enjoyed a spell under Steve Bould when he was the club’s youth team manager before his promotion to the first team, and Hayden says that connection gives them a route to the first team that they should take up.
"When me and Chuba (Akpom) were coming through we had Steve Bould as youth team manager for a year. That says it all really,” he added.
"Having that year, we learned so much from him. And then with him moving into the first team, there's a pathway to the first team. You feel like you've got that chance and it's up to you to take it."