Arsene Wenger claims he missed the split celebrations after Sanchez’s goal against Crystal Palace on Thursday but is not naive to the dressing room problems he’s having at Arsenal.
The Frenchman has a number of issues to contend with at the Emirates this season – primarily the futures of contract rebels Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, as well as their lacklustre league position.
For sure, every Premier League club is struggling to keep pace with runaway league leaders Manchester City, but it seems likely they’ll enter the new year outside of the top four.
The Frenchman’s lack of trust in some of his defenders has led the Arsenal boss to, at times, change to a three-man defence for the first time in his managerial career in north London.
Wenger could have walked away from the club in the summer and left all his troubles behind for someone else to pick up the pieces. However, his desire was always to stay.
While the 68-year-old has a number of concerns to contend with, it is the apparent dressing room split between Sanchez and his teammates that needs the fastest course of action.
Wilshere confronted Sanchez against Southampton
Jack Wilshere reportedly had “words” with Sanchez on the pitch during their recent draw at Southampton for cheaply giving the ball away.
But that is just a small detail in the bigger picture of the rising tension between Sanchez and his teammates which is of concern to Wenger, according to the Mirror.
The Frenchman is worried that, largely, the Arsenal squad have a growing dislike for the Chilean who is, with little question, the club’s best player.
Arsenal players are understood to be unimpressed by Sanchez’s dip in form this season, a perceived lack of effort in training and how he has dealt with his current contract situation.
Sanchez has lost all motivation
And another worry for Wenger has been that, since Chile recently failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup, there is a lack of incentive for Sanchez to perform well before his contract expires.
It has also been claimed that Sanchez’s big star ego has also only been tolerated by Arsenal players because of his ability to be a game changer and match winner.
The former Barcelona man’s celebrations have also led Gunners stars to brand him as disrespectful and highlighting himself as the main man, creating a further divide.
On the other hand, Ozil has gained respect for his commitment to Arsenal – despite his own future appearing to be away from the Emirates as of the summer, also.
It seems the best solution for Wenger would be to sell Sanchez in January and swiftly bring the dressing room rift to an end.
This would allow Arsenal to also recoup a small fee for South American, instead of allowing Sanchez to joins rivals City on a free transfer next summer, which seems almost inevitable.