The Premier League is inching closer towards allowing five substitutes instead of three after a handful of managers changed their mind on the rule.
Top-flight clubs in England have twice voted against increasing the number of substitutions allowed per team each game from three to five in response to the growing number of injuries during a busy fixture schedule.
The change came into force at the end of the last Premier League season but was not retained due to the fear it weighed too heavily in favour of bigger clubs and their stronger squads.
But after yet more players have suffered injuries in training and on international duty, the tide is slowly turning towards Jurgen Klopp and his mates.
The Times say managers ‘are to throw their weight behind’ the change once more after 15 ‘agreed’ with the increase in the aftermath of the EFL allowing five substitutions until the end of the season.
Three head coaches are known to have altered their viewpoints: David Moyes, Roy Hodgson and Brendan Rodgers of West Ham, Crystal Palace and Leicester respectively.
Every other major competition throughout Europe, including the Champions League, Europa League and international games, have permitted five substitutions since the start of the campaign.
England manager Gareth Southgate revealed his stance by saying that “something has to give” this week.
After losing Joe Gomez, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson from his squad, with Ben Chilwell succumbing to injury against Belgium, Southgate warned that it could take some “really nasty” problems to force the change.
“We were able to make five changes against Belgium, we made four in the end and clubs don’t have that option,” he said.
“What will it take for that to change? There were a couple of less serious injuries against Belgium but what do we do?”
Just about all of the greatest uncapped Premier League players ever were pursued by England. And only four of them were English.