By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes

Danny Welbeck was omitted from the Arsenal team for Sunday’s Premier League clash at Sunderland – and their supporters were mystified.

Olivier Giroud was given the nod to start ahead of the England international and lead the attack for the second consecutive game.

Giroud started Thursday’s 2-0 win over West Brom and Emirates Stadium and keeps his place in an unchanged team for the match at the Stadium of Light as Arsenal attempt to move back into third position.

It is a decision that has perplexed supporters, given that Giroud has scored only two goals since January, both of which came in an FA Cup win against Championship side Hull in early March.

By contrast, Welbeck has settled smoothly back into the team following 10 months out with a knee injury, scoring four goals in 12 games.

Arsenal fans expressed their surprise on Twitter at the England man starting on the bench, where he is joined by fit-again Jack Wilshere, who is named in the squad for the first time this season.

In other Arsenal news, West Ham have reportedly been offered a Gunners midfielder ahead of the summer transfer window.