Find out which teams and leagues across Europe have used the most, and the fewest, substitutes in 2023-24. We look at how subs are being used across Europe’s top five leagues.

Stick or twist? Managers have more options than ever now with the number of substitutes allowed per game increased to five across European leagues in recent years.

We’ve already run through how Premier League clubs are making best use of their extra changes, as well as those in the Football League.

Now, in our latest look at subs, we dive into the rest of Europe’s top five leagues to see how they compare.

As we’ve established, there are more substitutions than ever in the Premier League. And yet, there are quite significantly fewer than in other leagues.

On average, there have been 7.89 substitutions made in Premier League games in the 2023-24 season, almost a full sub fewer than any of the other top five leagues. That has risen slightly from 7.86 last season but is well down on the next lowest from this campaign, which is Ligue 1’s average of 8.68.

The French top flight has seen a rise of almost 0.3 subs per game (8.39 in 2022-23), while the Bundesliga has also experienced an increase from 8.98 subs each game in 2022-23 to 9.09 on average this season.

La Liga’s average has risen from 9.15 subs per game to 9.25 in 2023-24, but none can compare Serie A.

If you’ve been thinking the fourth officials in Italy have particularly big arms, it might be because they’re seldom without an electronic numbers board in their hands. To complete the set in terms of leagues increasing their subs from the 2022-23 campaign, Serie A has gone from 9.28 to a mighty 9.37 per game. Essentially, your average game in Italy’s top tier sees 42.6% of the 22 starting players taken off during the course of match.

Most subs per game Europe's top five leagues

The Most Productive Subs Across Europe

It’s all well and good making lots of subs, but who makes the most of them?

As we’ve previously written, Liverpool lead the way. Jürgen Klopp’s 122 changes in league games have produced 22 goal involvements (11 goals, 11 assists).

They’re closely followed by Atalanta, with 21 goal involvements from 139 subs used in Serie A (10 goals, 11 assists).

Cagliari and Bayern Munich have seen 19 goal involvements from 139 and 107 subs used respectively, while Arsenal (116 subs) and Newcastle United (106 subs) are the next on the list from the Premier League with 18 apiece.

But when we broaden our scope to look at all competitions, Liverpool are streets clear with an astonishing 47 goal involvements (23 goals, 24 assists) from 207 subs used. Atlético Madrid are second but have recorded 17 fewer (30 – 15 goals, 15 assists) from 206 subs, followed by Bayer Leverkusen (29 goal involvements from 162 subs) and Aston Villa (26 from 181 subs).

What about each league, and their most and least frequent sub-makers?

Premier League

The team to make the most substitutions in England’s top flight this season are Brighton and Hove Albion, averaging 4.75 per game as head coach Roberto De Zerbi looks to keep things fresh, especially having until recently had European football to juggle.

In second place are Andoni Iraola’s Bournemouth (4.50) while Fulham and Burnley are joint-third, both averaging 4.41 despite having had quite different seasons up to now.

Showing that Burnley boss Vincent Kompany isn’t merely copying everything he learned from Pep Guardiola, Manchester City have made the fewest subs in the Premier League this term at just 2.75 on average.

West Ham manager David Moyes has also shown restraint, making only 2.79 subs per game, despite having to navigate a UEFA Europa League campaign as well.

Premier League most-fewest subs 2023-24

Ligue 1

Lens had a superb 2022-23 season, finishing second in Ligue 1. Things haven’t quite been as good in 2023-24, though they still find themselves in the race for European spots.

Franck Haise has been trying to compete by using his bench as often as possible, averaging 4.85 subs per game, slightly ahead of relegation-threatened Le Havre’s 4.81.

At the other end of the spectrum, two of the teams challenging for UEFA Champions League qualification have made the fewest.

Lille’s 3.73 subs per game is only more than Monaco’s 3.54; it seems to be working given they sit fourth and third in Ligue 1 respectively after 26 games.

Ligue 1 most-fewest subs 2023-24


Over in Germany, a tricky season for Union Berlin has improved recently after an especially rocky start.

Urs Fischer seemed desperate to change things in those early months as Union lost nine league games in a row at one point, making five substitutions in each of their 11 Bundesliga games before leaving the club in November. His replacement, Nenad Bjelica, has overseen an improvement in form but his approach to subs hasn’t been a massive departure from Fischer, making 4.86 per game since arriving. As such, Union have an overall average of 4.95 for the season.

Borussia Mönchengladbach are level on 28 points with Union after 26 games and are only slightly further behind on subs per game, with 4.88.

Interestingly, two teams are tied for the fewest subs per game in Germany’s top flight, and they just so happen to be the top two.

Bayern Munich are trying to close the 10-point gap to Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen with just eight games remaining, but both teams have averaged 4.12 subs per game. While more than nine teams in England, it’s the fewest in the Bundesliga.

Bundesliga most-fewest subs 2023-24

La Liga

Alavés will be happy enough with their first season back in La Liga, sitting in 13th place after 29 games and well clear of relegation.

Athletic Club are also enjoying an impressive campaign, up in fourth after last weekend’s action. Both they and Alavés could owe their efforts partly to the fact they’ve jointly made the most subs in Spain’s top flight this season at 4.93 per game.

Rafael Benítez is no longer in charge of Celta Vigo, but despite their struggles this season, the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle manager used the second fewest subs per game. Celta’s overall total is just 4.21.

Only Barcelona have used fewer at 4.10, with Xavi also departing at the end of the season. The Blaugrana’s form has improved of late, but they are eight points behind Real Madrid in the title race, and all the subs in the world are unlikely to bridge that gap.

La Liga most-fewest subs 2023-24

Serie A

Finally, we come to Italy, where substitutions flow like water. For example, Roma and Torino’s average of 4.38 subs per game are jointly the second fewest in Serie A. That’s the same number as Brentford, who have made the fifth-most in the Premier League.

Leading the way in Italy, in every sense, are Inter. Simone Inzaghi’s side are running away in the race for the Scudetto, 14 points clear with nine games remaining. They are also the only team in Europe to have made every substitution possible this season, making the maximum 145 from their 29 Serie A games.

Very closely behind are Monza, who have made an average of 4.97 subs per game. They’re also enjoying a largely commendable season as they sit 10th in the table after 29 games.

Genoa boss Alberto Gilardino appears to show the most restraint when it comes to making subs in Italy’s top flight, with an average of 4.07 per game. Like Monza, they also find themselves in a fairly comfortable mid-table position.

Serie A most-fewest subs 2023-24

Enjoy this? Subscribe to our football newsletter to receive exclusive weekly content. You should also follow our social accounts over on XInstagramTikTok and Facebook.