🇮🇹 Serie A Player of the Week - The best super-sub of all time 🙌


Padraig Whelan

Article image: 🇮🇹 Serie A Player of the Week - The best super-sub of all time 🙌

Matchday 28 of Serie A over the weekend produced some incredible excitement and racked up an astonishing 40 goals across the 10 games!

But who stood out above all the rest to claim Player of the Week honours …

Luis Muriel – Atalanta

How good was Luis Muriel at Udinese on Sunday?

Well, let’s put it this way – he only entered the game in the 52nd minute and less than one half of action was all he needed to claim the crown.

Just like Jeremie Boga of Sassuolo, who was unlucky not to be the weekend’s main man himself, he came off the bench to cause havoc in a thriller.

La Dea didn’t have it all their own way at the Dacia Arena, despite Papu Gómez pulling the strings superbly as usual, and needed some inspiration.

It arrived from Muriel who single-handedly went to town on his former club (he has now directly participated in eight goals against them, making the Zebrette his favourite Serie A victims), taking 19 minutes before he scored one of the best free-kicks you will see anywhere this season.

Seriously, it was the definition of unstoppable.

Only a phenomenal save from Juan Musso denied him a second from a blistering volley but he did soon grab that would prove to be the winner.

Yet again, it was with a perfectly-placed drive from over 25 yards which fizzed into the corner and secured him his place in the history books.

With that strike, he became the greatest single-season scoring substitute in Serie A history, overtaking Marco Di Vaio’s seven for Juventus in 2003/04. Not bad at all.

And as if that wasn’t enough, the Colombian is also by far and away the clear leader in this season’s goals per minute ratio in Italy’s top flight.

Only Ciro Immobile comes close and even then, he is a long way off, with Muriel averaging 1.35 strikers per 90 minutes played or one goal every 66 minutes!

That said, Muriel joked afterwards that he hadn’t received much help from Gian Piero Gasperini in inspiring Atalanta to victory.

“Gasperini told me not to try those first time shots as [I] have few goals from outside the area and that’s why Ruslan Malinovskiy takes our long distance ones!”

— Luis Muriel

Those goals also make him Europe’s best multi-goal substitute off the bench in all of the top five leagues, having now scored more than once off the bench in three separate games.

But it seems that it was a rocket from his coach in the wake of last week’s win over Lazio which inspired him in Udine.

“Muriel is joy personified. He’s a wonderful guy, so much fun. When he came on against Lazio, he looked half-dead so I had a massive go at him the day after him … and he has responded with two goals! He has so much quality.”

— Gian Piero Gasperini

When a player of his quality struggles to make it into the side, you know Atalanta are packed with ridiculous firepower.

Honourable mentions: Jeremie Boga, Theo Hernández, Franck Ribéry.