Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - Man United
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The greatest Premier League super subs

| 27.05.2020

FIFA have given the power to the individual leagues to use five substitutions per game. While they’ve structured it to limit time wasting it does mean the art of the super sub could come back into frame.

So, with football back on the box and the substitute ready to be used more than ever, we’ve come armed with four players who made their name from their impact off the bench.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The current Manchester United manager was perhaps the man to kick this whole legend off in the Premier League era.

Nicknamed the ‘baby-faced assassin’ Solskjaer’s most famous moment came from the bench – scoring United’s last-gasp Champions League winner in 1999.

But he was used to great effect as a substitute throughout his time at Old Trafford in the Premier League too.

The Norwegian notched 17 goals from his 84 sub appearances including four goals against Nottingham Forest also in ‘99 – after only coming on in the 72nd minute.

Javier Hernandez

Another Man United man next, Mexican livewire Javier Hernandez. Otherwise known as Chicharito, his 17 strikes from 54 sub appearances carved out his ‘super sub’ status.

He only made 49 starts during his United career after all. His knack of being in the right place at the right time is a skill not possessed by many and saw him became a cult hero on the red side of Manchester.

His post-Old Trafford career has yielded more starts and more goals – but he will always go down as the man to turn to when the clock is ticking down.

Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe - Rangers

Jermain Defoe’s scoring record is phenomenal everywhere he’s played but it’s his goal tally from the bench that gets him on our list.

His goal-to-game ratio is 0.48 but that doesn’t do this bags-man justice – if only Sven brought him to the World Cup in 2006!

Still scoring goals on loan at Rangers at 37 years old, he’s playing that super sub role to a tee under boss Steven Gerrard.

Olivier Giroud

A starter for the reigning World Cup winners, there’s an argument to say Olivier Giroud has been wickedly under-appreciated in the Premier League.

For many, the Frenchman is the best support striker of the last ten years and his numbers show it – despite being limited greatly to appearances off the bench.

Alexis Sanchez’ form at Arsenal meant Giroud played second fiddle but still bagged five goals in 18 sub appearances in his final season in North London.

He’s been close to leaving Chelsea in recent months, but his ability to score crucial goals – FA Cup semi-final against Southampton in 2018 – means Frank Lampard just can’t bear to part with him.

But who do you reckon fits the bill?

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Author

Charlie Dear

Charlie has covered sport for the likes of The Guardian, Football365 and FourFourTwo. Arsenal sufferer. German football enthusiast.