Romelu Lukaku could miss three crucial games for Manchester United with a potential FA ban looming.
The Belgian petulantly kicked out at Brighton & Hove Albion’s Gaetan Bong in Saturday’s 1-0 win against the Seagulls, a frustrating encounter.
Lukaku could face a three-match ban, though it’s not a clear-cut case. That would see him ruled out of away games against Watford and Arsenal as well as Man United’s all-important six-pointer against Manchester City on December 10.
The 24-year-old swung his legs at Bong in the aftermath of a corner as Brighton cleared the ball away. It was, no doubt, needless, but there are questions over whether it’s worth a three-game ban.
Former-Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher told Sky Sports news a ban for Lukaku was unlikely.
“The act has to be one of violence or brutality,” Gallagher explained. “This appears to me to be one of petulance.”
The return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and form of Anthony Martial would soften the blow of a Lukaku ban, but United do need their main striker for two of the biggest games of the season. He may not be in form right now, but that’s partially due to some poor service in recent games, and there are hopes he’ll perform in big games.
Some United fans on social media are hoping Lukaku is banned so he can be replaced in the starting line-up. That’s a ridiculous mentality to have, and one that hardly needs discussing. Lukaku is the bracket below world-class as a striker. You never want him unavailable; whether through injury or suspension.