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The five greatest 'Super Sub' performances in Premier League history

:Headline: The five greatest 'Super Sub' performances in Premier League history:
Sports Mole counts down the five greatest Premier League substitute performances ahead of Steven Bergwijn's anticipated Tottenham Hotspur exit.
Sports Mole

Tottenham Hotspur have been all about the incomings rather than the outgoings so far this summer, but Antonio Conte is now set to wave goodbye to one of his out-of-favour attackers.

Dutch forward Steven Bergwijn is reportedly heading back to Ajax - where he spent six years as a youth player between 2005 and 2011 - for a £25.9m fee, and he will sign a five-year deal with the Eredivisie champions.

The 24-year-old immediately hit the ground running at Tottenham with his debut strike against Manchester City in 2020, but he has failed to become a mainstay in the Spurs attack and only started four top-flight games last term.

Bergwijn endured a frustrating 2021-22 campaign, but in the midst of his bench-warming weeks, he produced a super-sub masterclass against Leicester City, coming off the bench to score two injury-time strikes as Spurs marched to a 3-2 win.

In honour of the soon-to-be ex-Tottenham man, Sports Mole counts down the five greatest performances from a substitute in Premier League history.


5. Robert Earnshaw - West Bromwich Albion vs. Charlton Athletic - 2005

Welsh wizard Robert Earnshaw will always be fondly remembered for his acrobatic celebrations, and during his time at West Bromwich Albion, the striker dazzled as a second-half substitute against Charlton Athletic in the 2004-05 season.

Earnshaw was not introduced until the 64th minute of the contest, with the scores level at 1-1 and Charlton down to 10 men following Talal El Karkouri's red card for a horror tackle on Zoltan Gera.

Within nine minutes of coming off the bench, Earnshaw was in the right place at the right time to head home with a front somersault in tow, and Charlton's futile attempt at an offside trap failed as Earnshaw slotted home from Gera's pass in the 84th minute.

The crucial three points were already in the bag for the Baggies, but Earnshaw would complete his hat trick from the penalty spot, and West Brom would secure survival that year thanks to the striker's magnificent showing at The Valley.


4. Romelu Lukaku - West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United - 2013

Before pulling on the Manchester United shirt and enduring a hit-and-miss stint with the Red Devils, Romelu Lukaku would set The Hawthorns alight for West Brom eight years after Earnshaw's remarkable substitute hat-trick showing.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side were comfortably 3-1 to the good at half time in the Scotsman's final match in charge in May 2013, and Steve Clarke responded by swapping out Liam Ridgewell for a just-turned 20-year-old Lukaku.

The Belgian made the net ripple on the 50-minute mark, curling one past the reaches of Anders Lindegaard before Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez seemingly put the tie to bed.

However, Lukaku got the better of Jonny Evans to reduce the deficit to 5-3 right before Youssouf Molumbu made things even more interesting, and Lukaku ended a 10-goal thriller with the least aesthetically-pleasing goal he will ever score in the 86th minute.

The Belgian starlet had single-handedly ruined Ferguson's final farewell nine years ago, and Inter Milan fans will hope to see Lukaku return to his prolific ways at San Siro in the next 12 months.


3. Steven Naismith - Everton vs. Chelsea - 2015

Roberto Martinez did not bring Steven Naismith off the bench to change the game late on against Chelsea in September 2015, as the Scotland international was called into action after just nine minutes to replace the injured Muhamed Besic.

Martinez was left wondering why he elected to bench Naismith in the first place, as the striker took a 17th-minute header expertly well to open the scoring before making it 2-0 with a stunning left-footed strike from outside the area.

A Nemanja Matic spectacular would help Chelsea restore parity just before half time, but the Ross Barkley-Naismith combination paid dividends late on once again, as the latter found the net under Asmir Begovic from a tight angle to seal a memorable 3-1 win over Jose Mourinho's side.

In doing so, Naismith became the first player in history to score a Premier League hat trick against a Chelsea side led by Mourinho, and the 35-year-old would help Hearts return to the Scottish Premiership in 2021 before hanging up his boots.


2. Steven Bergwijn - Tottenham Hotspur vs. Leicester City - 2022

From one Steven to another. It would have been easy to pick out five hat-trick heroes for this super-sub list, but if Bergwijn is indeed on his way out of the Premier League, the flying Dutchman will forever be remembered for his King Power masterclass.

Even without the absent Son Heung-min, Conte was only prepared to reserve a spot on the bench for Bergwijn, and goals from Patson Daka and James Maddison either side of Harry Kane's response threatened to derail Tottenham's Champions League bid.

Bergwijn was introduced with 11 minutes of normal time remaining, and as seats were beginning to empty deep into injury time, the 24-year-old reacted quickest to poke home past Kasper Schmeichel and seemingly force Leicester to accept a draw.

However, Jonathan Moss's whistle remained in his pocket for a little while longer, and after latching onto Kane's ball through the Leicester backline and rounding Schmeichel, Bergwijn's scuffed effort from a tight angle clipped the post before trickling over the line.

Caglar Soyuncu attempted to palm the ball away to no avail in the 97th minute of the five-goal thriller, and Bergwijn will leave Tottenham in the knowledge that they may never have pipped Arsenal to fourth place without his winter heroics.


1. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - Manchester United vs. Nottingham Forest - 1999

Where else to end than with possibly the most celebrated super sub in Premier League history? Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may not have achieved a 'super' managerial status at Old Trafford, but that should certainly not tarnish his contributions off the bench for the Red Devils.

In the 1998-99 Premier League season, Ferguson's side were already 4-1 up against Nottingham Forest thanks to braces from Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole before the former watched the action unfold from the bench for the final 20 minutes.

Solskjaer came on to replace his counterpart as fans expected a quiet end to a one-sided contest, but the Norwegian did not enter the fray to make up the numbers and re-opened the floodgates by tapping in from Gary Neville's cross in the 80th minute.

The baby-faced assassin soon made it six with an arrowed finish into the top corner, seventh heaven arrived in injury time with a clinical half-volley, and a complete miscue from Paul Scholes would allow Solskjaer to steal in and make it four for himself in the dying embers.

Solskjaer himself labelled the four-goal showing at the City Ground one of the most iconic moments of his playing career, but a certain showing in Barcelona a few months later would arguably surpass that Premier League quartet.


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