Diego Costa was painfully close to the January amnesty before receiving his suspension.
If the Chelsea striker could have just held out until the end of the year, he would have avoided a ban for picking up so many yellow cards, but he will now sit out the Boxing Day clash against Bournemouth.
As the Premier League’s joint top scorer, the Spain international will be a huge loss for the Blues, but Antonio Conte should have the squad to be able to cope with his absence.
In fact, team-mate Nemanja Matic insists one man, in particular, can fill in for the in-form hitman.
“When you have Diego in the team it is very hard to get a chance because he is playing so well and scoring goals,” he told the London Evening Standard.
“But I’m sure Michy (Batshuayi) is ready to take his opportunity because he is working hard every day. He is a good man.
“We won’t have Diego against Bournemouth but I hope Michy will be the man to decide the game. If he does that it will be good for us. He is a great striker, for sure, that is why Chelsea bought him. I’m sure if he gets a chance to score in the next game, he’ll take it.”
Costa once again showed his importance with the winner in the 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Saturday lunchtime, but Batshuayi should be a capable replacement.
The Belgian may have only scored three goals this season, all of them in the EFL cup, but his opportunities in the Premier League have been limited, so this could be his chance to make his mark.
If his form at Marseille last season is anything to go by, Bournemouth should be wary, as he scored 21 goals and assisted another nine to keep them in Ligue 1.