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Posted on: Tue 06 Jan 2009

ARSENAL and England Under-21 defender Gavin Hoyte has today (Wednesday) agreed to join Watford on a season-long loan deal.

Watford manager Brendan Rodgers has moved to bring in the versatile youngster, who can play at full-back or centre-half, in a bid to bolster his beleaguered defence.

Described as fast and athletic by his parent club, six-footer Hoyte can play across the back four, excelling at centre-half.

Hoyte, 18, has been with Watford's training ground neighbours since the age of nine and signed professional terms with them in September 2007, recently extending his stay by penning a new long term contract.

He is eligible to play in the Hornets' home FA Cup tie with Scunthorpe this weekend, wearing squad number two.

The younger brother of Middlesbrough's Justin, Hoyte was named on the bench in four of Arsenal's five Carling Cup fixtures last season and also featured in their traditional pre-season friendly against Barnet.

Gavin Hoyte
Arsenal defender Gavin Hoyte in action for England

His steady performance at Underhill that day then earned him a place at the Gunners' Austrian Training Camp where he featured twice.

Hoyte, who was this year's reserve team captain at the Emirates, made his first team debut in the Carling Cup Third Round victory over Sheffield United in September and went on to play the full 90 minutes in all three of Arsenal's Carling Cup matches this season.

Gavin Hoyte and Danny Webber
Gavin Hoyte up against former 'Orn Danny Webber

His progress then continued as he made his first Premier League appearance, being named in the starting line-up for Arsenal's trip to Manchester City on November 22, 2008.

The Hornets have conceded more goals in the Championship than any of their opponents, but as one the league's highest scoring teams it seems only a matter of securing clean sheets that will see Watford move up the table in a more positive manner.

With that in mind Hoyte's inclusion to the squad will offer manager Rodgers' further options as he looks to build on the squad he inherited at Vicarage Road.


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