Cherries midfielder Jefferson Lerma is again walking a suspension tightrope but this time he could be hit with a two-match ban.
The Colombia international midfielder racked up his ninth Premier League yellow card of the season on Boxing Day and has so far avoided a tenth – that would bring with it an automatic two-match suspension.
Boss Eddie Howe, speaking in November when Lerma was approaching a one-match ban as he neared five cautions, said he would not attempt to curb Lerma’s ‘natural instincts’ to aggressively go after the ball.
He told the Daily Echo: “It’s a concern because, potentially, we may lose him to suspension so that’s not something we would want.
“But when you are that kind of player, I don’t know if you can take that natural aggression away when that is part of their strength.
“I think he’s been unlucky with a couple of bookings and probably a couple have been warranted.”
The 24-year-old avoided making any fouls in Bournemouth’s last match – the 3-0 defeat to Liverpool – but he also failed to register a single tackle in that game.
If Lerma is booked for a tenth time against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday he would miss the following two matches away to Arsenal and at home to Manchester City.