The five substitute rule is set to become permanent, after a decision from the International FA Board (IFAB), The Times reports.

The body decides and rules on the laws of the game worldwide and the rule introduced in the pandemic is set to become a permanent option. The change will be confirmed at the organisation’s meeting next month.

The word option is key, because each individual league and competition will set their own rules.

This season the Premier League chose to limit the substitute numbers to three, due to complaints from smaller clubs about the advantage it would give the top teams.

But as The Times reports, “A permanent change would increase the pressure on England’s top flight to adopt the practice that is now widespread in the rest of Europe as well as the Champions League and Europa League.”

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(Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Beneficial to Manchester United, possibly Solskjaer, and his successor

United have a huge squad and only being able to use three substitutes is very limiting.

It is one of the reasons, although not the sole factor, that Solskjaer has been unable to successfully balance his squad this season.

Donny van de Beek for instance has just five Premier League minutes to his name. This would likely be higher if United were able to use more substitutes than just three.

A lack of balance in terms of minutes has disrupted the harmony of the squad, The Times report.

 

Being able to play them more often would benefit Solskjaer in terms of rotation, and keep the players happier.

But Solskjaer has to get to that point. No rule change will come in for the Premier League until the start of the 2022/23 season at the earliest.

Solskjaer is currently on the brink at United after the defeat to Liverpool and it is uncertain he will last the next fortnight, let alone until the end of the current season.

The same dilemma will be presented to the next manager though, if Solskjaer is fired. How can he best keep the players happy?

Solskjaer did better at balancing his squad last season than this campaign, and naturally, there will always be some players who get short shrift and feel hard done by.

This season Solskjaer has taken it to extremes, with players like Alex Telles, Jesse Lingard, Eric Bailly and Donny van de Beek barely getting a kick in the Premier League.

The next manager will benefit from the five substitute rule potentially coming into effect in the Premier League next season.

United have a strong squad of players and if a top tactician like Antonio Conte is given the job, then he could be able to use the extra substitutions very effectively.

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