Alexis Sanchez has caused “division” at Arsenal with his want-away antics, says club legend Thierry Henry, with it now time for the Gunners to cash in.
Speculation surrounding the Chilean’s future has provided an unwelcome distraction at Emirates Stadium throughout the 2017-18 campaign.
According to The Guardian, the problems started last March with a confrontation with Laurent Koscielny, got worse last month following a match against Burnley and were on public display during a 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace on Thursday.
Sanchez had been hoping to secure a move elsewhere over the summer, with Manchester City leading the chase for his signature , but was forced to stay put and enter the final year of his contract.
There is no indication that fresh terms will be agreed and, while he did deliver a vital two-goal showing against Crystal Palace in his latest outing , Henry believes the 29-year-old’s antics have irked his team-mates and created a split in the Arsenal camp.
Speaking to Sky Sports after seeing Sanchez snubbed by his colleagues following his first goal at Selhurst Park, Gunners legend Henry said: "There is a division in the team.
"He is asking them to come. 'Why are they not coming? Don't you want to celebrate?'
"You're not here for Alexis Sanchez, you're here for Arsenal. Arsenal scored. Go and celebrate. Whoever does it, we don't care about that, go and celebrate with your team-mate.”
Sanchez was more in favour after netting his second of the evening, but Henry feels there is still cause for concern in north London.
He added: "Jack [Wilshere] went there because he gave the assist, but I don't know.
“With the first goal, maybe we're trying to read too much into it. I noticed it because Alexis Sanchez made me notice it, he turned and was like 'Hang on a minute I'm alone here!' It was kind of weird."
According to The Guardian, the issues with Sanchez and some of his team-mates caused a dressing room "bust-up" after Arsenal's win against Burnley in November.
The interaction between the players was not physical but Sanchez was called out for his poor attitude. The Guardian suggests some team-mates pointed out that they're unhappy with his on-field antics, including the way he waves his arms in frustrations when things don't go his way.
But Sanchez is not the only player on Arsenal’s books to be running down their current deal, with Mesut Ozil another high-profile figure to be heading towards free agency.
Henry believes the issue of their respective futures needs to be addressed in January, with it time for Arsene Wenger to either tie them to new deals or sanction sales while a fee can still be generated.
“We are talking about something they created themselves,” said the Frenchman.
“You are going to miss Alexis Sanchez if he leaves and you are going to miss Mesut Ozil, because they are quality players. Now, are you not going to get any money for them either?
"If something is coming now, you have to at least get some money, because you are going to lose them anyway at the end. They haven't signed new contracts yet, that is something we are sure about, so you are not going to get money for them if they leave at the end of the season. So it's a double punishment.
"It's astonishing to me. How? [Robin] van Persie went, I went. A lot of players went, but you got money for them. These guys might go on a free. So are you going to keep them and hope you can make them stay or are you going to sell them?"