When you’re battling for a position with another player in the squad or simply not that good most of the time, you’re going to get subbed quite often. Lukas Podolski of Arsenal gets taken off the pitch more than anyone else in Europe, followed by Riki from Deportivo, Eljero Elia from Werder Bremen and Takashi Inui of Eintracht Frankfurt.
The fellas at whoscored took notice of who gets off the pitch more than others in Europe’s top 5 leagues, while also taking notice of who gets to be 12th man more often than the rest. Lukas Podolski is one of two players who finds himself on the bench after starting more than 90% of the time.
The Arsenal forward, being moved around in positions by Wenger this season, has been replaced 18 of his 19 starts this season for the gunners. With a disappointing production of 6 goals in 20 matches, it’s not such a big surprise. Juan Carlos of Real Betis, a 22 year old winger who has started in 14 league matches for the team this season, comes in second when it comes to the ratio of being subbed, taken off before 90 minutes 13 times out of his 14 starts.
Nabil El Zahr who plays for Levante (13 times out of 15 starts), Alvaro Cejudo from Osasuna (13 times out of 16 starts), Franco Di Santo of Wigan (13 times out of 17 starts), Nolan Roux from Lille (13 times out of 19 starts) and Mathieu Valbuena of Marseille (13 times out of 20 starts) complete the list of the most substituted men in European football.
And how about the kings off the bench, who know that no matter what they’ll find themselves in the match? Alexy Bosetti who plays for Nice and Steve Morison who plays for Norwich have come on off the bench more than anyone this season. Bosetti has played in 16 matches this season, 15 of them coming off the bench. Morison has also come off the bench 15 times, getting to start four times.
Nelson Oliveira from Deportivo, who has played in 14 matches this season, and Stefano Celozzi from Eintracht Frankfurt with 13 matches, both have yet to get a start, coming off the bench to play in 100% of their participation.