Sir Mo Farah paid a visit to Arsenal’s training ground on Thursday morning
Sir Mo Farah has paid his customary visit to Arsenal’s training ground ahead of the side’s FA Cup third-round clash with Preston, and the four-time Olympic gold medallist was all smiles as he met up with Arsene Wenger.
Farah – who described being awarded a knighthood in the New Year Honours as ‘a dream come true’ – fulfilled the life-long ambition of many Arsenal fans by enjoying a day at the club’s training facilities at London Colney.
The 33-year-old successfully retained his 5,000 and 10,000 metres titles at the Rio Olympics, becoming the first British track and field athlete to win four Olympic gold medals, and Farah showed he still has a quick turn of foot during a one-on-o
Farah was perhaps told to go easy on the forward, who is on the brink of a return to first team action following seven months out with medial knee ligament damage, but the pair were in good spirits in sunny St Albans.
Wenger confirmed that Welbeck could return to the Arsenal squad this weekend for the FA Cup third-round clash against the Championship side.
The 26-year-old has been sidelined since May with a serious knee injury but has been back training with the first team recently and the former Manchester United player will be part of the Gunners’ squad for the trip to Deepdale.
Welbeck, who has scored eight goals in 36 Premier League appearances since his move to north London, is likely to make his return from the substitutes’ bench against Simon Grayson’s side.
Ahead of the Saturday evening kick-off, Wenger spoke at his news conference, but he refused to reveal whether Welbeck would be used from the start.
‘I haven’t decided yet, but he could be [in line to play at Preston] – it depends on Lucas a little bit, it also depends on how he feels.
‘Physically his fitness is at quite a good level, but of course the ideal way is to give him two or three games with the Under 23s. But the situation is not always ideal, sometimes you have to hurry up.’
Lucas Perez is 50-50 for the tie this weekend after picking up an ankle injury during the enthralling 3-3 draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Tuesday night.
The £17.1million summer signing from Deportivo was brought in to add extra competition for the attacking berths, and Welbeck will have a fight on his hands to force his way back into Wenger’s plans.
Theo Walcott has been in fine goalscoring form this season, and Olivier Giroud has come back into the reckoning with three strikes in his last three games, while Alexis Sanchez leads the way on 15 goals for the campaign in all competitions.
But Welbeck will be afforded plenty of opportunities to stake his claim once more for the first team, with Arsenal looking to win a third FA Cup in four seasons.