Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin has revealed why he and some of his teammates chose not to celebrate Alexis Sanchez’s goal against Crystal Palace in December.
The Chilean forward found the net twice at Selhurst Park in one of his last games for the Gunners.
But it was the reluctance of some Arsenal players to join Sanchez’s celebrations that attracted the attention, leading to suggestions that there was a divide in the team.
“This season maybe things weren’t going as well for him but I truly believe he was giving 100 per cent,” Bellerin told the Oxford Union.
“There was one game against Crystal Palace. We celebrated a goal and some of the players went I stayed back, I was talking to Calum Chambers and others because there was some tactical stuff. For me, that was more important than celebrating the goal.”
He added: “Alexis is an amazing player. One of the best in the Premier League for sure but he is a player who always wants to win.
“He demands from everyone, sometimes it can be too much. The great thing is he wants to win, to give 100 per cent.”
Club legend Thierry Henry at the time bemoaned the apparent lack of cohesion in the Arsenal squad.
“There is division in the team,” he said. “He is asking them to come [and celebrate with him]. Why are they not coming? Don’t they want to celebrate?
“You’re not here for Alexis Sanchez, you’re here for Arsenal. Arsenal scored so go and celebrate. Whoever does it, celebrate with your team-mate.”
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Sanchez has since joined Manchester United, where he has scored once in his four appearances.