The six best super-subs in Premier League history

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By Joseph Plunkett

From bench warmers to bench stormers… some players who don’t make the starting eleven are anything but sub-standard.

And with money gushing into the league from extravagant television deals, the best sides have players-a-plenty, making the competition as scintillating as ever.

Options are obviously a luxury, but some players are simply more effective from the bench.

But the term ‘super-sub’ isn’t thrown around loosely, with only a special type of player having the knack to affect a game despite their lack of playing time. Here are six of the best:

daniel sturridge

Daniel Sturridge

A player who has performed for a few of the league’s biggest clubs… Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool to name a few, Daniel Sturridge has spent plenty of time watching games in his tracksuit.

In fact, the West Brom loanee has made a whopping 81 appearances from the bench during his Premier League career, scoring 15 goals, at a rate of one every 5.4 sub appearances.

Football betting tips would suggest that Sturridge’s chances of going to this summer’s World Cup are slim after his latest injury and are looking worse by the day; however, if he can get himself fit and firing, he could still make it onto the plane to Russia.

For those looking to cash in on a free bet, you can get odds on Sturridge going to the World Cup at 7/1.

And with The Baggies destined for the Championship, Sturridge faces a fight to save his career at his parent club, Liverpool.

daniel sturridge

Jermaine Defoe

A player who has spent time at six Premier clubs and scored more goals from the bench than any other (23), Bournemouth’s Jermaine Defoe is currently in the twilight of his career.

Considering 86 of Defoe’s 485 Premier League appearances have been as a sub, it highlights what a natural goal scorer the England international is, with a rate of one every three Premier League games.

Defoe is the seventh highest goal scorer in Premier League history.

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Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are tethered on 17 goals from the bench for Arsenal and Manchester United, respectively.

The French international matched Solskjaer’s record when he scored an equaliser at Saint Marys against Southampton in December to help salvage a point for his former club.

Giroud, who fled to Chelsea in a January transfer switch, after repeatedly failing to lead Arsene Wenger’s line, has yet to make his mark for his current side.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Solskjaer’s solo record had been standing for over a decade, with his last Premier League goal bagged from the bench in a 4-1 home win for Manchester United against Blackburn Rovers, in March 2007.

The ‘baby-faced assassin’ once scored four times after coming off the bench against Nottingham Forest in February 1999.

After coming on in the 72nd minute, with his side already 4-1 up at The City Ground, Solskjaer had four in no time, despite United’s first team coach asking him to take a conservative approach to the game.

Nwankwo Kanu

The joint second highest scorer from the subs bench in Premier League history, alongside Giroud and Solskjaer, is former Nigerian international Nwankwo Kanu, also with 17 goals.

Kanu represented Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth among his thirteen-year stint in the Premier League, winning it twice during his spell at Highbury with Arsenal.

During his period in England, he made 273 appearances, with a record of one goal every five games. 

Wenger claimed that Kanu was one of his greatest ever signings, having made the greatest impact of all the African players he’s appointed during his tenure.

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Javier Hernandez

Despite Peter Crouch scoring more times from the bench (15) than the Mexican international Javier Hernandez, the latter has made our list due to the fact he has over 80 less substitute appearances than the Stoke forward.

Hernandez made his name at United, becoming a fan favourite and earning the fourth best record in the competition’s history for minutes to goals ratio.

Now at West Ham, things haven’t been as easy for Hernandez, scoring seven times in 24 appearances as his side continue to fight it out in this season’s enthralling relegation battle.

Outright betting odds suggest that West Ham are as short as 2/1 to be relegated this season, with the club currently in turmoil.

With free betting offers presently provided from some of the UK’s biggest bookmakers, the Premier League Golden Boot race has taken another twist since the injury blow for Tottenham’s Harry Kane.

Will it be Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah who’ll pip Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero to the gong, to cap off a remarkable first season with The Reds?

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