Arsene Wenger has confirmed the reason behind his decision to remove one of his key players from the team which faced Brighton last weekend.

The Gunners traveled to Brighton with a point to prove after suffering three straight defeats in all competitions.

Many expected Arsene Wenger to name a full-strength team for the clash with arguably this season’s most dangerous newly promoted side.

However, as usual, the Arsenal manager decided to go with some rotation instead, despite the importance of the trip to Brighton.

That saw Aaran Ramsey miss out on a place in the team even though he was able to feature a couple of days earlier against Manchester City.

According to Wenger, the Welshman’s fitness record and the upcoming round of 16 tie in the Europa League determined his decision.

“I left him at home because I played him in the two games against City, without a lot of training in behind,” the Arsenal boss said

“I didn’t want to gamble today [against Brighton] for a physical setback, so I left him completely out of the squad.

“Yes [it’s a sign of the Europa League’s importance], because we have to be realistic. We need two teams to collapse [in the Premier League]. I can’t see that at the moment, because two teams to drop so many points is very difficult to imagine.

“But we have to give our best for as long as we can. Of course the Europa League becomes important.”

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