5 most impactful substitutes in the Premier League this season
- The super-subs have clinched some important wins for their clubs this season.
There is a very old football saying - "It's the substitutions in the game which make manager the money" - and if the current Premier League season is to be considered, this saying is proving absolutely right.
Research reports reveal that majority of the goals this season have been scored in the second half, and almost every club right from last-placed Norwich City to table-toppers Liverpool have left it late to win the game.
This, in turn, increases the value of the manager's substitutions and the chances of a super-substitution turning the game in his side's favour.
With the current season coming to an end in a couple of months, its time to look at the top 5 substitutes in the Premier League this season, who have been extremely impactful coming off the bench.
Here are our top 5 picks for the ongoing season.
Disclaimer: All the stats in this article are valid till March 10, 2020.
#5 Harry Wilson (Bournemouth)
2 goals in 4 substitute appearances
AFC Bournemouth's on loan sensation from Liverpool has been one of their best players this season even at a young age of 22 years.
The youngster has scored 6 goals in the ongoing Premier League season, a tally which many experienced players fail to boast after many years in the top flight. An interesting piece of trivia is that most of his goals have come from dead-ball situations.
In the 3-2 away loss at Tottenham Hotspur, Harry Wilson almost gave the Cherries a ray of hope that they might go on to win the game or at least salvage a point, when he scored 2 outstanding goals in his 27 minutes cameo.
The statistics only partially prove Wilson's talent and abilities, and the red half of Merseyside might have a potential star in their ranks.
#4 Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa)
2 goals and 1 assist in 8 substitute appearances
The Brazilian has made a great impact coming off the bench and even when the manager trusted him with ninety minutes of action in the Premier League this season, especially in an Aston Villa side which is touted as being pulled single-handedly by English midfielder Jack Grealish.
Douglas Luiz made his name as a super-substitute for the Lions by scoring Villa's second goal in a 2-1 home win against Watford City. The 21-year-old has also scored in the 5-1 away win at Norwich City in the first half of the campaign.
For his young age, the midfielder has made quite an impact at Villa Park, and if he continues his top form, he can only go higher up the football ladder in the coming decade or so. In fact, he has won the trust of Dean Smith already who has started him in the Premier League for the past 4 games.
#3 Roberto Pereyra (Watford)
2 goals in 5 substitute appearances
The 29-year-old has lost his first-team spot over the years to new signings and youth players rising up in the squad hierarchy, but it has not impacted his determination and loyalty even a bit for his club.
On the contrary, Pereyra started many games for Watford earlier this season with impressive performances for his side creating a lot of goal-scoring opportunities for his team-mates, but soon he lost the faith of his manager and was demoted to the bench.
Despite this demotion, the Argentine has come off the bench to score some crucial goals for his side.
Pereyra came off the bench to score in the game against Arsenal, which enabled the Hornets to secure a point. The winger then added a consolation goal in the 3-0 away win at Bournemouth where he played only 8 minutes, an outstanding achievement for a substitute player.
#2 Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)
2 goals and 1 assist in 5 substitute appearances
Even though the striker has been a first team regular for Arsenal ever since joining the club, the recent rise of youth players in the team, signing of Nicolas Pepe from Lille and injuries has left him fighting for a first team spot.
Lacazette might have just done enough in the past few matches to prove his point of becoming a first team regular again after his heroic substitute performances in the recent weeks.
In the 4-0 home win against Newcastle United at Emirates, the Frenchman came on to score and added to the Magpies' misery. But, his recent winner against West Ham United after coming off the bench counts a lot as Arsenal are desperately vying for a top four spot and each point counts till the end of the season.
There are rumours about Lacazette getting ready to make a switch at the end of the current season, but his goal-scoring abilities might lure Mikel Arteta to give him another chance for next season.
#1 Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City)
1 goal and 3 assists in 6 substitute appearances
The ex-Manchester City striker was touted as one of the stars for the future when he performed for City on his debut in the absence of Sergio Aguero a couple of seasons back, but soon was sold to Leicester after the arrival of Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus.
Kelechi Iheanacho has not been at his best at Leicester either but has had a couple of good performances in his bag as a super-sub for Brendan Rodgers.
The Nigerian bagged the winning goal in his first game against Everton and in addition recorded an assist in the same game, making his 28 minutes in the game the most impactful amongst the entire squad.
Another outstanding performance of his came against West Ham United when he provided 2 assists for his team-mates in the 4-1 win.
The 23 year old still has time on his side and can become a really important player for Leicester if the form of an ageing Jamie Vardy drops in the seasons to come.
Published 10 Mar 2020, 20:03 IST