Premier League set to introduce five substitutes next season


Jurgen Klopp

The Premier League are finally set to fall in line with other major competitions across Europe as they are reportedly ready to greenlight plans to introduce the ability for clubs to use five substitutes from next season.

The rule was introduced during ‘project restart’ amid the Coronavirus pandemic in the 2019/20 season, but drew distain from some managers, with then Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder claiming that making the move permanent would hand bigger teams an unfair advantage.

Premier League set to introduce five substitutes next season

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha (C) comes on as a substitute and shakes hands with then Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson (L) during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Everton at Selhurst Park in south London on August 10, 2019. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) 

‘I’ve got incredible respect for these top managers because they produce top results and win things’, he said in November 2020.

‘They’re going to be bothered about Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea, which I understand and respect.

‘I would be the same, but I’m bothered about Sheffield United and it doesn’t help us to have five subs.’

Now, however, it seems that Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have got their wish, as the Premier League are expected to amend the rules. The Times report that ‘Premier League clubs are set to make a U-turn tomorrow and agree to five substitutions per team being permitted from next season’, bringing it in line with the other major European leagues that already have the options for five substitutes.

Will it help bigger clubs?

In theory, yes. Premier League clubs such as Liverpool and Manchester City, who have deeper squads, are on the face of it likely to benefit from the change. However, they will also have added European constraints, with the Champions League moving from a format which guaranteed a minimum of 6 games to one which will force clubs to play at least 10 games before qualification is even taken into account.

It is also thought that the change will reduce injuries and offer higher quality football, but whether that is the case remains to be seen.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 29 50 70
2 Liverpool FC 29 55 69
3 Chelsea FC 28 38 59
4 Arsenal FC 28 13 54
5 Tottenham Hotspur 29 11 51
6 Manchester United 29 8 50
7 West Ham United 30 10 48
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 30 5 46
9 Aston Villa 29 1 36
10 Leicester City 27 -4 36
11 Southampton FC 29 -9 35
12 Crystal Palace 29 1 34
13 Brighton & Hove Albion 29 -10 33
14 Newcastle United 29 -17 31
15 Brentford FC 30 -14 30
16 Leeds United 30 -33 29
17 Everton FC 27 -18 25
18 Watford FC 29 -26 22
19 Burnley FC 27 -16 21
20 Norwich City 29 -45 17
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 20
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 13
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 13
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur 12
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 12
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 12
Toney, Ivan Brentford FC 11
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 10
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 10
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 9
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 9
De Bruyne, Kevin Manchester City 9
Raphinha Leeds United 9
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 9
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 9
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 8
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8

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