Arsene Wenger has revealed Danny Welbeck’s half-time withdrawal at Cologne on Thursday was pre-planned and not due to a recurrence of his groin injury.
The striker was making his first appearance since October 14 in the 1-0 Europa League loss, but came off at the break for Alex Iwobi.
The change sparked fears that Welbeck – with just 27 Premier League outings in the previous two seasons due to injury – had suffered another setback ahead of Sunday’s trip to face Burnley.
Wenger, though, has allayed those concerns.
“It was planned before the game that he would only play 45 minutes,” the manager said.
“He has only just come back from injury, and we have three more games on Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday again.
“Medically, the risk was a bit too high to play him for longer because he has been out for a while. He has no problem.
“Of course, he was ready to stay on and frustrated to come off, but he’s in good shape.”
Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere has hinted his future may lie away from Emirates Stadium, with his only starts this season coming in Europe and the EFL Cup.
“Of course I want to be playing. It’s difficult when you play every three weeks,” he said.
“It’s the same as every player. I’m still determined to win my place back, I’m working hard and we’ll see what the future holds – if I can get in or I can’t.”