Where Are They Now: Justin Hoyte

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Joining the Arsenal Academy when he was 9 years old, Justin Hoyte progressed through the youth and reserve teams before signing professional terms for the Gunners in 2003.

His debut for the club came in the 6-1 demolition of Southampton at the back-end of 2003, but his chances were restricted, and in the following season he only made one league appearance, as Arsenal one the 03/04 Premier league. After making 5 appearances in the next campaign it was decided Hoyte should go on a loan move and linked up with Sunderland for the 05/06 season. At Sunderland he gained valuable first-team football, playing 31 games and scoring 1 goal, which was particularly notable as it came against fierce rivals Newcastle United.

On his return to Arsenal Hoyte was used as a left-back, due to the sale of Ashley Cole and the injury to Gael Clichy. His performances were very promising and once Clichy was back from injury Hoyte was moved back to his preferred right-back position, filling in for Eboue and in the process performing admirably. After a decent spell in the side his first and only Arsenal goal came in a 4-0 win over Charlton. This goal was particularly significant as it meant Hoyte was the first Englishman to score for Arsenal at the then newly built Emirates Stadium.

During the next campaign Hoyte played sporadically, as Bacary Sagna was seen as the first-choice right-back. At the end of the season he joined Middlesbrough for £3 million after making 68 appearances in red and white. Hoyte played for Middlesbrough for 6 years, predominantly in the Championship and in total played 142 times for the club. He scored two goals in the process and was seen by many as a solid player who could be relied upon in the side. After Tony Mowbray left his management position Hoyte moved back down to London to join Millwall, initially on loan, before joining permanently this summer.

As well as making the loan switch to Millwall last term Hoyte also made himself available for Trinidad and Tobago and has gone on to make 8 appearances. Early in his career Trinidad had offered him the chance to participate at the World Cup 2006, but Hoyte chose to try to pursue a way into the England side. At under.21 level he made 18 appearances for the Three Lions but after never making a senior appearance and at the age of 29 he decided the time was right to enter the international stage.

After playing for Arsenal for some years, Hoyte has gone on to have a successful career, predominantly playing his football in the Championship. Now under the guidance of Ian Holloway he’ll be looking to take his game back up another level and with some years still ahead in his career a Premiership move could still be on the cards if he can find some consistency.

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