Jonny Williams handed Chris Coleman a fitness boost when he made his return from injury for the Under-23s today.
The Welsh midfielder made his first appearance since November after recovering from a shoulder operation.
Williams lasted 80 minutes at Eppleton as Sunderland's youngsters lost 3-1 against Arsenal.
Coleman and No 2 Kit Symons watched on from the stands as the Welsh international showed glimpses of his ability on the ball as he looked to put himself back in the first team picture.
Williams had a role in Sunderland's only goal, starting the move which ended with Elliot Embleton scoring from a tight angle.
Arsenal, however, were too strong for the home side and goals from Emile Smith-Rowe and a Tyreece John-Jules brace gave them victory over Elliott Dickman's side.
Sunderland: Stryjek, J Robson, Hume, Embleton, Taylor, Storey, Williams (Allan 80), Hackett, Connelly, Diamond, Kimpioka.
Not used: Brotherton, Woud, Young, Kokolo.
Arsenal: Iliev, Osei-Tutu, Bola, Da Silva, Mavropanos, Medley, Dragomir, Smith-Rowe, John-Jules (Balogun 80), Nelson, Amaechi.
Not used: Omole, Keto, Burton, Benson.