Skip to content

Is it a bird..? Is it a plane…? No, it’s… SUPER-SUB

On the last Owls About Stat podcast, episode 4, we discussed Wednesday’s abundance of numbers, but depravity in quality, up front.

One of the things that was mentioned was Lucas Joao’s record. How he seemed to be better when playing as a substitute rather than as a starter.

Joao is an enigma: Brilliant and unstoppable in one game, flailing and not in a game at all in the next. It’s interesting to contrast him with another enigmatic front man of ours, Adthe Nuhiu.

From the 2013/14 onwards they rank 2nd (Nuhiu) and 4th (Joao) in the Championship in minutes played as a substitute among the 150 players, who have scored as substitutes during that time.

Their record as substitutes couldn’t be any more different, though: While Joao’s goals per game as a substitute (roughly 1 in 4) is a very respectable 11th, Nuhiu’s 3 goals from 88 substitute appearances ranks 150th – dead last.


In fact Joao has scored more Championship goals (15) as a substitute than as a starter (12), despite only playing a fourth of his football as a substitute.

Those 15 goals as a substitute since joining in 2015/16 is more than double the amount of the players in second on 7 goals as a substitute.

In English football only Olivier Giroud (16) has more substitute goals in a division than Joao. 15 is also a higher return than in any of the professional divisions in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.


Joao scores a goal every 105 minutes as a substitute, but only once every 359 minutes (1 in 4) as a starter.

That scoring rate as a substitute, 0.85 goals every 90 minutes, would equal 39 goals over a full 46 match Championship season of playing minutes.

For Nuhiu, though, the numbers are flipped: He scores once every 632 minutes (1 in 7) as a substitute and once every 295 minutes (1 in 3) as a starter.

Nuhiu, though, excels in the number of assists as a substitute: His 7 assists as a substitute is more than any of the other 150 Championship substitutes in the goals since 2015/16.


About the author, Peter Løhmann

Born on a Wednesday way too many years ago in Denmark. Loves sifting through copious amounts of numbers trying to make sense of what they're saying. Peter's the undisputed brains of the operation.