Arsenal Have Been in Civil War Since November

Arsenal has descended into civil war as the presence of Alexis Sanchez has created divisions in Arsene Wenger's squad, according to reports.

Issues within the team became apparent on Thursday (December 28) when Sanchez fired Arsenal ahead against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. The Chilean was joined in celebrations by Granit Xhaka, Alexandre Lacazette and Shkodran Mustafi but others refused to get involved.

But the divisons will not have been news to Sanchez. His teammates made their feelings clear to him in a dressing room inquest following Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Southampton earlier this month, according to the Daily Mail.

Jack Wilshere, a product of the Arsenal academy, was one of a group of players who confronted Sanchez over his attitude in the squad, with Wilshere criticizing him for wastefulness on the ball.

Sanchez wanted to leave the Emirates Stadium in the summer when Pep Guardiola looked to take him to Manchester City, the Premier League's runaway leaders.

And he is expected to get his wish in January, with Arsenal willing to sell or face losing Sanchez for nothing in the summer when his contract in north London expires.

Alexis Sanchez
Alexandre Lacazette, left, Alexis Sanchez, center, and Granit Xhaka at Selhurst Park, London, December 28. Sanchez has reportedly created divisions within the Arsenal squad. Catherine Ivill/Getty

Indeed, many at Arsenal hope to see him exit in the new year. Members of the squad, and even some of the back room staff at Arsenal, have become exasperated with the Chilean.

Wenger and members of his team are believed to have changed their mind about listening to offers for the 29-year-old as there is a belief that his work-rate has dropped. After the victory against Crystal Palace, Wenger insisted he didn't fear losing Sanchez in January.

"Nobody knows what will happen. It's difficult to speculate," Wenger said, as quoted by the BBC.

"We are focused on short term, that means the next game with the players committed and ready to fight. It's not a guarantee of how long you stay somewhere.

"They are questioned, always, when people don't have long contracts. The best way to show they are committed is to give that kind of performance."

And Sanchez's next opportunity will be on New Year's Eve when Arsenal travel to the Hawthorns to take on West Brom. They then face Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on January 3.

By that time, the transfer window will have reopened and City may have already made contact over Sanchez. The departure of Arsenal's best player could help the team; the civil war would be over.