Danny Welbeck has explained why he featured for Arsenal’s Under-23s on Sunday as opposed to facing Sutton for the senior side on Monday.
Arsenal take on Sutton in the FA Cup fifth round on Monday, with the Gunners expected to field a side with a mixture of regular first teamers and squad players.
Many expected that Welbeck could feature, with the England international continuing his recovery from a knee injury.
The striker made his first appearance of the season against Preston in the FA Cup third round in January, but has started just one game since his return – the 5-0 win over Southampton in the next round, in which he scored twice.
But Welbeck will not feature in the latest round of the cup, Arsenal instead opting to hand him a start for the U23s against Leicester.
The 26-year-old played 70 minutes of a 2-1 defeat, before explaining that it was more beneficial to feature here than on the plastic pitch used by Sutton at their Gander Green Lane ground.
Glad to get 70 minutes today to build up my match fitness. Plastic pitch at Sutton isn't the best idea at the moment. #COYG
— Danny Welbeck (@DannyWelbeck) February 19, 2017