Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola rebuke Premier League’s 3 sub limit; insist it’s a ‘disaster’

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says it is “necessity” for clubs to have five substitutes per match in the Premier League, while Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has labelled the current three sub limit a “disaster”.

Klopp and Guardiola renewed their calls for the rules to be changed after Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold suffered a suspected calf injury during Sunday’s 1-1 draw at the Etihad.

The Liverpool manager has rejected claims that reintroducing the five substitutes rule, which was briefly used last season after Project Restart, could favour the ‘big six’ and insists player welfare should be the priority this season.

Alexander-Arnold will have a scan on Monday and is expected to withdraw from the England squad for their games against the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland later this month.

Klopp believes the Football Association should take action over the substitutes rule, or risk having more international players ruled out through injury.

“In my understanding it is a lack of leadership,” Klopp added. “It is the only big league where you have only three subs. Surprise.

“The FA has to be involved. Tonight we lost Trent Alexander-Arnold. I’m pretty sure Gareth Southgate is not fine [with that].

“If we continue like this and hopefully we can play the Euros in the summer… if they happen, let’s see who will be part of that.”

Manchester City have used all three of their substitutes twice this season and only two clubs have made fewer total substitutions, but manager Guardiola says he fully agrees with Klopp that the limit must be increased.

“All around the world it’s five substitutions, but here we believe we are more special people,” said Guardiola.

“We don’t protect the players, and that’s why it’s a disaster. In this calendar, especially. I will demand, if the people allow, we have to come back to five substitutions.

“If not, it’s difficult to sustain it.”

Premier League substitutions

TeamTotal substitutionsSubstitutions per game
West Brom243.0
Tottenham243.0
Wolves243.0
Newcastle243.0
Arsenal243.0
Manchester United213.0
Everton232.9
Leicester232.9
Leeds222.8
Liverpool222.8
Chelsea222.8
Brighton222.8
West Ham222.8
Fulham212.6
Crystal Palace212.6
Sheffield United212.6
Southampton202.5
Manchester City142.0
Aston Villa121.7
Burnley12