While none of the best Premier League strikers spent much time on the bench, substitute forwards still play a pivotal role at the highest level.
With fixture lists busier than ever, Premier League managers need to be smart with their planning and those with bigger squads have reaped the rewards over the years.
When fans think of ‘Super Subs’, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer often comes to mind, but the former Manchester United man did not score enough to make the top three in the shortlist, even if most of his efforts were memorable.
Without further ado, we bring you the top-five scorers from the bench in Premier League history.
Jermain Defoe – 24 goals
The former West Ham, Tottenham, Portsmouth, Sunderland, Bournemouth and Rangers striker called time on his career on Thursday.
Defoe enjoyed an incredible career at the highest level and even though he scored over 200 goals before hanging up his boots, he was more than willing to make an impact from the bench.
Of Defoe’s Premier League strikes, 24 came from the bench and his turn of pace and eye for goal were always a danger for opposition defences.
Olivier Giroud – 21 goals
The Frenchman started his Premier League career as a regular starter, but he was a hitman from the bench during the final few years of his spell in England.
Giroud made 18 appearances from the bench during his final season at Arsenal, but still proved himself to be vital by netting on five occasions.
He was used in a similar role at Chelsea and his final effort for the Blues came as a substitute during the 2-0 success against Newcastle in February 2021.
Javier Hernandez – 19 goals
The Mexico international followed in Solskjaer’s footsteps, mainly making a name for himself from the bench at Old Trafford.
Hernandez played for both Manchester United and West Ham in the top flight and his career could have been much more fruitful had he been given a chance to shine from kick-off.
‘Chicarito’ did enough to tempt Real Madrid into signing him on loan, but he has never enjoyed as much success as he did in his early days at the ‘Threatre of Dreams’.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – 17 goals
The personification of a ‘Super Sub’. Solskjaer seemed to come alive when the game was on the line, and nobody will forget his memorable goal in the 1999 Champions League final.
Solskjaer’s first and final appearances for the Red Devils were from the bench, and he managed to find the back of the net in both of those games.
Daniel Sturridge – 17 goals
The former England international failed to cement his place in the starting XI for both Chelsea and Manchester City and his best spell came at Liverpool Anfield.
His partnership with Luis Suarez nearly helped the Reds get their hands on the Premier League title, but a late slump in form saw the Reds fall short in 2013/14.
Sturridge’s injuries plagued his career, but it helped him make an impression from the dugout.