Victor Wanyama Banned 5 Matches After Red Card vs. West Ham: Comments, Reaction

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2016

Referee Mark Clattenburg (C) shows Southampton's Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama (3L) the red card for a challenge on West Ham United's French midfielder Dimitri Payet (laying on pitch) during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and West Ham United at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England on February 6, 2016. / AFP / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
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The English Football Association confirmed Monday that Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama will miss the next five matches on red-card accumulation, per Ralph Ellis for the Daily Mail.

Wanyama was most recently sent off on Saturday in the 54th minute of the Saints' 1-0 win over West Ham United. Since it was his third red card of the 2015/16 season, he incurred the mandatory suspension.

The Kenya international didn't make a lot of contact with West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet, but the intent was more than enough to warrant an immediate ejection. Southampton manager Ronald Koeman was critical of the tackle after the match, per Sky Sports Football:

"When I saw it in real time it looked like a red card," said West Ham manager Slaven Bilic, per the Guardian's Alan Smith. "I don't say that because I am the West Ham manager—it is a red card. He was lucky because if you get him then you are in big trouble. For me there is no place in football for those kind of tackles and they should be punished."

Wanyama will now be eligible to return March 19 against Liverpool. His absence certainly won't help Southampton climb into a European place, with the Saints 10 points back of Manchester City for fourth and four points behind fifth-place Manchester United.

Oriol Romeu is the likeliest replacement for Wanyama in the Southampton midfield. The 24-year-old Spaniard has looked good in his limited time on the pitch, and Wanyama's suspension could prove to have a silver lining should Romeu use the chance to prove why he's regularly deserving of a starting place.