Arsenal’s Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Arsenal at The London Stadium, in east London on December 3, 2016.
Justin TALLIS / AFP
Sanchez threw a tantrum on the pitch at full time after his side’s dramatic 3-3 draw, despite Arsenal coming back from 3-0 down on the night.
The forward was unhappy that his side had dropped another two points in the title race and was also frustrated that the full-time whistle was blown by referee Michael Oliver while the Gunners were on the attack.
His mood didn’t improve in the changing room, where he sulked in view of his team-mates, hardly saying a word as he made it crystal clear he was unhappy with the result.
In contrast, some Arsenal players seemed to be happy with the result, despite missing out on the chance to go third in the table.
Sanchez’s team-mates are increasingly concerned that he will look to leave the Emirates this summer as his frustration with life at Arsenal grows.
The former Barcelona man is locked in a contract stand-off with the club. He has been offered a deal worth £180,000 a week, but has told them he will not sign for less than £250,000, a figure that would obliterate Arsenal’s current wage structure. The 28-year-old also wants proof that the club can compete for the top prizes.
The Chile international did not shake hands with any of the opponents after the game
He enters the final 12 months of his deal this summer and Arsenal are likely to cash in on him at the end of the season if he doesn’t sign a new deal, rather than risk losing him for nothing in 2018.
This isn’t the first time Sanchez has lost his temper since joining the club. The forward finds it hard to hide his disappointment at being substituted given his desire to play every minute of every game.
Indeed, Arsene Wenger spoke to Sanchez about the issue before the season started, explaining that he needs to take the forward out of the firing line from time to time to conserve his energy.
Sanchez’s ultra-determined nature is one of the key reasons why the Gunners are desperate to tie him to a new deal. But, money aside, the player wants to know he is around like-minded players who are as desperate for success as he is.
The protracted contract negotiations with Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will have an impact on Wenger’s hopes of securing the futures of his other star names.
Ozil is the club’s top earner on £140,000 per week but he also wants his new deal to be well in excess of £200,000 per week. Even with the club on a solid financial footing, the size of the deals will impinge on negotiations regarding other contract renewals.
Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere are still to be approached about new deals, despite being in the final 18 months of their current agreements.