The post-pandemic football world has witnessed one particularly significant change – the introduction of five substitutes. The new rules have allowed bigger squads to perform better, as the manager has access to a world-class bench – allowing him greater room to make tactical changes or substitutions based on the match situation.
Five best substitutes in world football now:
A case in point is Manchester United and Manchester City’s effective usage of the five-substitute rule – with both teams scoring a combined 20 goals after the 75th minute in the 2020/21 Premier League season.
United, in particular, are rated highly for their counter-attacking prowess, and the introduction of five fresh legs has led to 12 goals in the last 15 minutes of their Premier League matches this season. The role of a super-sub is now more significant than ever. On that note, let’s take a look at the five best substitutes in the game at the moment.
#5 Oliver Giroud
One of the best substitutes in the Premier League era, Oliver Giroud is also one of the highest-scoring substitutes in the competition.
The Frenchman has excelled in his role as a super-sub since his days at Arsenal – where he made 18 of the 29 Premier League appearances in the 2016-17 season as a substitute. Those 18 appearances yielded five goals for Giroud, who has a total of 20 career goals as a substitute.
Out of 27 appearances across all competitions this season, 14 of them have been from the bench. Surprisingly, all of Giroud’s 11 goals this season have come when he has started.
Despite his failure to score as a substitute this season, the Frenchman remains one of the Premier League’s deadliest ‘super-subs’, scoring a goal every 94.6 minutes as a substitute.
#4 Leroy Sane
Leroy Sane is regarded as one of the finest young talents in world football. But he has failed to nail down a regular starting berth at Bayern Munich, often coming on as a substitute.
Current Bayern Munich manager, Hansi Flick, likes to use his compatriot as a super-sub. In 41 games across all competitions this season, Sane has made 15 appearances from the bench – reminiscent of his time at the Etihad.
While the former Manchester City player is one of the most explosive wingers going forward, there’s much to be desired in the defensive side of his game, though. Most forwards have extensive defensive duties in modern football, but Sane never seems too keen on tracking back or pursuing one-on-ones.
However, Leroy Sane has shown glimpses of his extraordinary talent in his brief stint in Munich. The German international has eight goals and 11 assists to his name this season.