Off the bench and ready to produce when their team needs them most, the super-sub plays a pivotal role in turning around a team’s fortune. Here’s a list of eleven the best super subs to date.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed for Manchester United in 1996 from an unknown club in Norway for a transfer fee of £1.5m. Promptly nicknamed ‘The Baby-faced Assassin,’ the striker earned the super-sub label by scoring 126 goals in 366 appearances, including coming off the bench to score the goal that won his team the 1999 Champions League final.
A pivotal sub for Arsenal in his last two season with the club, Oliver Giroud scored 19 goals off the bench in 33 of his 45 appearances. In his first few months with his new club Chelsea, he came off the bench to score two goals to compel Chelsea to a comeback win over Southampton.
Although he was boxed out during his time at Tottenham, the striker Jermain Defoe netted 24 goals as a sub for West Ham United early in his career. He repeated his fortune for the English national team in 2009 when he scored a brace to draw Holland.
Javier Hernandez aka Chicharito made the most of his five years at Manchester United off the bench. 13 of his 59 team goals came as a substitute in pivotal moments to save the Red Devils.
The giant striker often came off the bench as a substitute for Henry and Dennis Bergkamp at Arsenal, where he scored 12 goals during the 1990-2000 season. A winner of the Champions League with Ajax, he also earned two Premiership titles, a UEFA Cup, and two FA Cups.
With fresh legs against tired defenses, Liverpool’s David Fairclough scored 18 goals in 62 appearances off the bench. He wrapped up his playing career with the Reds accumulating 34 goals in nearly 100 games.
Tore Andre Flo
Signed for a mere fee of £300,000 by the Blues, Tore Andre Flo scored 50 goals in his 163 appearances for Chelsea, half of which were off substitutions.
Often a late time hero for both his national team and club team, Aussie forward Tim Cahill developed a knack for coming off the bench and scoring important goals. He gave Australia its first World Cup victory when he was substituted in the 70th minute in the 2006 World Cup to strike two against Japan.
Standing at 6’7, Peter Crouch was an ideal substitute to come in late and exploit his height against tired defenders. With 143 appearances off the bench, Crouch holds the record for most substitute roles in the Premier League.
When in doubt, put in Danniel Sturridge. The striker developed a repeating for both scoring and providing late goals for Manchester City, Chelsea, and Liverpool. In the 2016/17 seasons, he scored Liverpool’s 86th goal which set a team record for goals in a season.
Whether it was at Liverpool, Arsenal, or Chelsea, Yossi Benayoun came off the bench to score some vital goals. He’s the only player to score a hat-trick in the FA Cup, Champions League, and Premier League.