Manchester United midfielder Casemiro was given his second straight-red card of the season against Southampton on Sunday afternoon. The Brazilian has gone down a storm at Old Trafford but disciplinary problems will come as a surprise, given his squeaky clean record at Real Madrid.
Nine years and well over 300 appearances for Los Blancos did not yield a single straight-red card, with his decision-making one of the key reasons United splashed £70million on him during last summer's transfer window.
Casemiro had been given his marching orders before at the Bernabeu - twice, in fact - but both came courtesy of second bookable offences, leading to a one-match ban. The 31-year-old has already suffered through a three-match suspension this season and he will now be sidelined for the next four matches.
He was originally shown a yellow card by referee Anthony Taylor against Southampton, after flying into a high tackle on Carlos Alcaraz in the first half.
However, VAR official Andre Marriner advised Taylor to double check his decision by consulting the pitchside monitor, which resulted in a red. Marriner was the man to dish out Casemiro's other red card earlier this campaign against Crystal Palace, when the experienced campaigner put his hands around Will Hughes' neck.
United boss Erik ten Hag will now be without his midfield general for the forthcoming FA Cup quarter-final against Fulham. The Red Devils have just rediscovered the taste for silverware, having lifted the Carabao Cup last month, but their job to win a second trophy this term has just been made that much harder.
"There’s no doubt – we all said it by the way – £60m? £70m? And £20m-a-year [contract] for five years is a £170m investment," he told The Overlap. "That is a massive investment. It’s not a smart or shrewd signing when you look at it from a [big picture] point of view.
"None of us thought that. But the impact he’s having in the short term and what Manchester United need now, he’s devastating for the club in unbelievable ways."